Mayor Bloomberg Doesn’t Have Much to Say on OWS Police Tactics, But Still Criticizes Protests


Mike Bloomberg doesn’t have much to say about what he and the New York Police Department are doing to prepare for Occupy Wall Street’s big day of action on Tuesday, but he didn’t miss a chance this morning to criticize the protests.

At a press conference outside City Hall today, the Voice asked the mayor what the city and the NYPD is doing in advance of May Day — a full day of protests and demonstrations that is aimed at breathing new life into the movement that began last fall.

In our question, we also asked him about rumors that several hundred NYPD officers were training on Randall’s Island with riot gear and mock protesters.

He didn’t address that part of our question, but said, “We are prepared for everything we can think of all the time. Our tactics are something that we don’t talk about in advance for obvious reasons.”

Bloomberg continued, “People have a right to protest. We will protect that right. They don’t have a right to disrupt other people and keep other people from protesting or just going about their business.”

The mayor’s comments were not surprising — he’s repeatedly defended the NYPD’s actions in response to OWS, and usually dismisses the protests on the whole when he has the chance.

“We will do what we normally do and find the right balance,” he said.

He added that he doesn’t really know why people are choosing to protest in the first place.

“I’ve always thought if you want to change things, I’m not sure what protesting does. Just go out, and try and do something. Make it better. Help kids get a better education. Start a business. There’s a lot of things, a lot of ways you can volunteer and help make this city better and this country better,” he said.

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