Mayor Bloomberg ordered the eviction of Zuccotti Park around 2 AM this morning. The police pushed people with batons, destroyed tents, used pepper spray to disperse the protesters, and arrested as many as two hundred.
It is striking that after 5,000 years of civilization – including the development of languages, art, science, technology, the concept of democracy and cities like New York – the system is still resolving issues like OWS the same way it did 2,000 years ago! Have we then learnt nothing since Julius Caesar, whose arrogance brought a violent end to the Republic, with all the consequent tragedies? We can very easily give a zero to the Bloomberg administration for their social skills and their stand on democracy and human rights.
This occupation of Wall Street was a prefect opportunity for the mayor to start a real discussion about the limits and the development of Wall Street, and about the role and challenges of small businesses in the city. We could have begun a dialog about how to guarantee lower cost housing, free access to education and health care for all in today’s economical reality.
This eviction will not resolve any of the real problems. Tomorrow, the city will count 40% of its residents living 200% below the federal poverty line of $21,660 per year, and over half the income in New York City being earned by just one-fifth of its residents. This situation was not created by OWS, and has never been addressed by Mayor Bloomberg after being in power for over 10 years. This is a sorry situation, but unfortunately, that’s all we have to show today for all the travails our fore-bearers endured to bring us our democracy!