The ‘Occupy Wall Street' protests are gaining momentum and have spread to more than a dozen cities across the US. The protesters have come under attack by politicians, with NY mayor Michael Bloomberg claiming they are trying to destroy people’s jobs.
Helicopters and heavy police presence have been brought to keep the turmoil under control in New York. According to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the protests have already cost the city $2 million in extra security costs.
Raymond Kelly said that the vast majority of people protesting were peaceful, but there were groups of people who tried to charge police barricades and who “want to have a confrontation with police.”
"They're going to be met with force when they do that," Kelly said, as cited by DNAinfo Manhattan local news. "Physical force is going to be used. This is something this core group obviously wanted to have happen."
Activists say they are fed up with worsening unemployment and the rule of Wall Street bankers and blame them for causing the recession.
This comes as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg severely criticized the activists and claimed that the failure of banks will only lead to more people losing their jobs.
“What they are trying to do is take away the jobs of people working in the city, take away the tax base that we have,” Bloomberg said during his weekly radio show on Friday. “We’re not going to have money to pay our municipal employees or anything else.”
Bloomberg also attacked the labor unions, which joined the protest this week, saying that “their salaries come from the taxes paid by the people they are trying to vilify.”
But “Occupy Wall Street” protests are more than just a citizen standoff against the big banks.
Some of the Wall Street campaigners accuse American news outlets of peddling a view of the US that bears no resemblance to the reality lived by millions of Americans.
“People are standing up against corporations that actually run the media,” says campaigner Travis Pinion, “if there is no freedom of press there is no democracy.”
“Benito Mussolini defined fascism as a collaboration of corporations and government – welcome to America guys,” he says.