Ya think? I wonder what gave it away — the tactics of disruption that we’ve come to see with all Big Labor efforts? Let’s not forget that the first “occupation” didn’t take place on Wall Street, or even in New York, but in Madison in February of this year. In fact, Michael Bloomberg is being a little too generous when he attempts to distinguish between the everyday Occupiers and the Day of Action provocateurs on the streets yesterday:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested Friday that unions took over the Occupy Wall Street protest yesterday.
“A vast percentage of the people were union members protesting — some private unions and then some municipal unions — and they had, you know, organized signs and leadership and that sort of thing,” Bloomberg said on WOR radio station Friday. “So it really wasn’t the protesters that have been in Zuccotti Park or that you see around the country.”
Bloomberg added, “It was just an opportunity for a bunch of unions to complain or to protest or whatever they want to do.”
The mayor warned that some of those union members, especially the municipal union members — should “step back” and realize that their salaries depend on the city’s ability to attract companies, investors and people who pay taxes.
I’d say that the unions went all in on Occupy weeks ago. Democrats certainly did, after all, and so did New York’s independent political party with even deeper union affiliations, the Working Families Party. The AFL-CIO openly expressed its support for a “Day of Action” a few days ago, as Tina reported at the time, as a way to push for more infrastructure stimulus — the kind of spending that benefits the unions.
Perhaps Bloomberg is mindful that the OWS protests still have some popularity in the city, and figures he can criticize the unions as provocateurs while pandering to the other demonstrators. I doubt that anyone outside of the camps are making the distinction any longer, though, and probably not too many of those inside the camps bother, either. The supposed “hijacking” either took place well before yesterday’s nonsense, or it didn’t take place at all, and I’m inclined to believe the latter.
On the other hand, perhaps some of this does come from old-fashioned lunacy. Verum Serum provides this video from earlier today, after police at UC Berkeley finally cleared out their own Occupier camp with little trouble, albeit an operation delayed by an investigation into an unrelated shooting on campus earlier this week. The Occupier shooting the video tries taunting the police by accusing them of the shooting, and eventually the officer makes a point of mentioning the image on the protester’s shirt:
Police shot Christopher Travis on Tuesday, after he pointed a gun at police who repeatedly told him to put the gun down:
Travis was gunned down by an officer who fired several shots after police say he ignored repeated orders to put the weapon down. There were 14 other people in the lab at the time, including four officers, said UC Berkeley police Lt. Alex Yao. …
University authorities said a staff member first saw Travis carrying a backpack with what appeared to be a gun inside in an elevator at the business school. The staffer told a colleague, who contacted police at 2:17 p.m., saying she saw the man take the gun out of his backpack.
Police officers tracked him into the computer lab, where he was shot at about 2:22 p.m., roughly five minutes after the initial call, officials said.
Compare this to Mumia Abu-Jamal, the man whose image the protester wears proudly and calls a “political prisoner,” who, er … murdered a police officer. Great set of heroes this movement has, huh?