New Yorkers need “to help the banks” was Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s message to the Occupy Wall Street crowd in his weekly radio appearance on the John Gambling show.
“The protesters are protesting against people who make $40-50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That’s the bottom line,” Bloomberg said, presumably meaning service workers on Wall Street, adding that “we all” share blame for taking on too much risk, not just the financial industry.
“And people in this day and age need support for their employers. If the banks don’t go out and make loans we will not come out of our economic problems, we will not have jobs so anything we can do that’s responsible to help the banks do that is what we need.”
Asked if there’s an “end-game” for the protesters and if they will be allowed to stay in Zuccotti Park, which is privately owned but open to the public, Bloomberg said, “We’ll see.
“You know people have a right to protest but we also have to make sure that people who don’t want to protest can go down the streets unmolested. We have to make sure that while you can say what you want to say, people who want to say something very different have a right to say that as well. That’s what’s great about this country.”
Warning of “other societal concerns,” offering sanitation as his example without elaborating, he then skipped down memory lane and away from the question to recall protests on Wall St. during the Vietnam War. His conclusion: “when the Vietnam vets came back we didn’t treat them the way they deserve to be treated.”