Occupy Wall Street protesters are lashing out at Mayor Michael Bloomberg, saying he needs to get his facts straight about how protesters really handle crime in Zuccotti Park.
Andrew Smith, an OWS overnight community watch member, said in written statement, “Bloomberg lied yesterday when he claimed that a sexual assault suspect was merely kicked out of the park, when in fact OWS security personnel forcibly removed the individual and handed him directly to the NYPD,”
The statement was in response to comments Bloomberg made yesterday when addressing reporters about Occupy Wall Street.
“Instead of calling the police, they form a circle around the perpetrator, chastise him or her and chase (them) out into the rest of the city — to do who knows what to who knows whom,” the mayor said.
Protesters say participants understand that there is no substitute for the police when it comes to criminal activity that threatens the community or local residents. Protesters admit there are sometimes issues inside Zuccotti Park, but OWS volunteer Bill Dobbs says they are often resolved internally.
"We have systems and our own common sense to deal with those problems,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs said the real issue is that Bloomberg is "demonizing participants" instead of supporting their civic participation.
"Mayor Bloomberg is pandering to fear," Dobbs said. "What we’re seeing is a lot of effort to undermine and suppress the movement and divert from the damage the mayor and his billionaire friends are doing to the country."