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Protesters Go but Barricades Remain

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Barricades surround the charging bull. (Caitlyn Kim/WNYC)

Over a month after police cleared the Occupy Wall Street encampment from Zuccotti Park, some remnants still remain — the police barricades

Metal barricades still surround Zuccotti Park, much to the chagrin of some of the small businesses around the park. Stacy Tzortzatos, general manger of Panini & Company, doesn’t understand why the barricades still surround the park.

“I feel it needs to go,” she said. She added that many of her customers like to eat in the park or go into the park. “It feels completely closed off and it’s not.”  

Further south on Broadway, a symbol of Wall Street, the charging bull, is also surrounded by police barricades. Tourists line up to get a picture next the bull’s head.

Bernard Freiling, who’s visiting from Switzerland, saw the bull ten years ago and wanted to get an updated photo. “I don’t really know if it’s necessary to do it. It’s not good to see the financial world so secured,” he said.

Arthur Piccolo, chairman Bowling Green Association, said when threats against institutions are received in the area, usually a police car and some extra NYPD officers are assigned and “not this 24-hour, seven day a week, two police officers on overtime who everytime I see them say they could be better off in neighborhoods that they need more police.” he said. “Why are they doing that for 3 and half tons of bronze? It’s striking me as being Orwellian”

Authorities counter the bull must be protected because it's a possible target of vandalism.

“The cops have to make a decision. If it looks like someone’s going to deface it, they’ve got to be there and it’s just sad that there are people who might want to do it,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The mayor added the police have been accommodating people who want to get a picture with the bull.

But Community Board 1 President Julie Menin is concerned about the impact the barricades are having to businesses in the area, noting that small business owners have been complaining about the barricades for weeks.

“I understand the need for balance,” she said, “but the balance is too much in favor of the barricades.”

She wants the NYPD to do a walk through of the area and see what barricades are truly needed.

Marc Garber and Richard Yeh contributed to this report.

Caitlyn Kim/WNYC
Barricades surrounds the bull.
Caitlyn Kim/WNYC
Tourists standing in line to get a picture of the bull.
Tourists Getting a picture with the bull.
Caitlyn Kim/WNYC
Barricades at the entrace of Wall Street.
Caitlyn Kim/WNYC
Barricades surround a near empty Zuccotti Park.
Barricade inside a barricade: artwork in Zuccotti Park gets its own smaller barricade.
Caitlyn Kim/WNYC
Barricades had surrounded Zuccotti Park since November.

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Comments [1]

ARTHUR PICCOLO from Lower Manhattan

Mayor Bloomberg's statement makes no sense and is completely misleading. Good security anywhere in our city makes sense NOT the mindless caging of Charging Bull and placing a police car in front of the sculpture's head 24 hours a day seven days a week and forcing visitors to stand in the middle of the street to get anywhere near the Bull.

It is the Mayor and the Police Department that is 1) creating a dangerous condition on Lower Broadway, and 2) literally destroying the value of one of the most popular attractions in our city's history

There is lots of painful irony here. The Mayor who has been bragging of the city's 50 Million visitors this year is undermining one of the attractions many of those 50 Million visitors most want to visit. The biggest irony is that it is one of the very richest members of the 1% Michael Bloomberg is "destroying" the appeal of Charging Bull preventing the 99% from enjoying this wonderful statue using his power to keep the rest of us away.

This is the same mayor and city government and police department that has NEVER paid any attention to the BUll at all providing no security whatsoever for almost 22 years. Never even once before placing barricades around the Bull.

What we really need is logical good security. Monitored NYPD security cameras facing the Bull, adequate night time lighting of the Bull and a patrol car in the area that regularly swings by the Bull. What we do NOT need is the continued CAGING of Charging Bull an insult to all New Yorkers and visitors from around the world.

Arthur Piccolo
Chairman
Bowling Green Association

Dec. 28 2011 08:10 AM

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