Scenes from area around Occupy Wall Street : Photo by Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

Scenes from area around Occupy Wall Street : Photo by Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

NYPD Won’t Tolerate Illegal Behavior

It won’t happen here.

Mayor Bloomberg vowed Friday that the Occupy Wall Street movement would not descend into violence like the protests in Oakland, Calif.

“If you see what happened like in Oakland – 5,000 people [marching] with the streets burning – we are not going to have that here,” Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show.

“Anybody that thinks we are doing nothing is wrong,” the mayor added, “and anybody who thinks we’re going to tolerate behavior that’s not protected is wrong.”

More than 100 people were arrested – and eight seriously injured – in the Bay Area city Thursday when a protesters’ march left Oakland’s streets littered with smashed glass, debris and graffiti.

That violence – which left several stores in flames – happened a week after a former Marine had his skull smashed in a confrontation with Oakland police.

Bloomberg contrasted that with the New York protests, which have largely been peaceful other than a few skirmishes with the NYPD since the Occupy Wall Street movement set up camp in Zuccotti Park in September.

“Yesterday [Thursday], I saw about 50 people, they marched from Zuccotti Park to a police precinct,” the mayor said on WOR Radio. “They walked peacefully on the sidewalk, behaved themselves, walked back.”

When asked by radio host John Gambling if he was “running out of patience” with the protestors, Bloomberg said he was committed to protecting their right to free speech – but stressed that others had rights too.

“People have a right to protest but they don’t have a right to destroy neighborhoods,” Bloomberg said. “If you handle them the wrong way, you end up with an Oakland.”

A slew of quality-of-life complaints from downtown businesses and residents – which were then amplified by local lawmakers – led the NYPD this week to remove hundreds of metal barricades from many of the streets surrounding Zuccotti Park.

Occupy Oakland Violence at the General Strike : Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP

Occupy Oakland Violence at the General Strike : Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP

“If people want to rush into the streets, we’ll put the barriers back,” Bloomberg said. “The bottom line is you don’t want to have barriers, you have to behave, and we will continue to do that.”

They mayor has struck a tougher tone with protesters in recent days, denouncing their refusal to turn criminal suspects over to the NYPD and warning them that the city would “take actions” if the protests spun out of control.

But he has stopped short of committing to remove the demonstrators from the park, which is run by Brookfield Partners.

Last month, Brookfield and the city backed off a plan to move out the protestors in order to clean the park.

The FDNY removed generators and fuel from the park last week, saying the flammable materials were a safety hazard. Fire marshals have swept the park for the items every day since, Bloomberg said.

Source : – NY’s Mayor Bloomberg Says Occupy Wall Street Protests Won’t Turn Violent Like Oakland by Jonathan Lemire New York Daily News

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