The NYPD arrested 200 protesters as they moved in on Zuccotti Park early this morning and cleared out the thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters who had taken over the space for nearly two months.
Mayor Bloomberg, who called the decision to boot the protesters “mine and mine alone,” said protesters would be allowed back into the Lower Manhattan park but not with their tents and sleeping bags.
I don’t have any problem with protests. I supported the Tea Party protests. But, there is a problem when people start camping out in parks for weeks on end and annoy the people who live in the area. There is a real problem when the camps become havens for criminal activity and a public health hazard.
I don’t think that Mayor Bloomberg comes off at all well in his dealings with these people. The first duty of any public official is to maintain order and the rule of law. By failing to properly handle the protesters when they started to become unruly, he and too many other sympathetic mayors effectively abdicated their duty, and, they allowed the problem to become that much harder to deal with.
By the way, I think the OWS protesters should be forced to clean up their mess. At the very least, they should pay the costs.