Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday that the Occupy Wall Street protests have no place in his bedroom.
The mayor was asked Monday whether he had discussed the dilemma faced by the lower Manhattan protest site's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, with his live-in girlfriend, Diana Taylor, who's on the company's board of directors.
"I can tell you that pillow talk in our house is not about Occupy Wall Street or Brookfield Properties," the mayor said.
Brookfield, which holds 6.2 million square feet of property in midtown Manhattan and 12.8 million square feet in lower Manhattan, most of it in the World Financial Center, has been struggling with how to handle the protesters who've descended on Zuccotti Park, pitching tents, tarps, sleeping bags and other essentials for their encampment.
Bloomberg, a billionaire who founded the financial information company Bloomberg LP, said last week that police would help Brookfield enforce rules preventing encampments at the half-acre park, then announced the company had changed its mind. He said he hasn't had any direct communication with Taylor about the situation.
Although Zuccotti Park is privately owned, it is required to be open to the public 24 hours a day.
The protesters say the only way they will leave is by force. Their demands are amorphous, but they are united in blaming Wall Street and corporate interests for the economic pain they say all but the wealthiest Americans have endured since the financial meltdown.
The cost of policing the protests has ballooned to $3.5 million, the mayor said.
"The police department is going to the keep the city safe," he said, "and then we'll figure out how to pay for it."
With the Associated Press