The Occupy Wall Street protesters scored a major and somewhat unexpected boost from Michael Bloomberg today.The New York City mayor didn’t endorse the movement, but he said he wasn’t going to kick these kids off the lawn in Zuccotti Park either, which has turned into the de facto hub of the demonstrations in the financial distract.
“The bottom line is, people want to express themselves, and as long as they obey the laws, we’ll allow them to,” the mayor told reporters. “If they break the laws, then we’re going to do what we’re supposed to do — enforce the laws.”
It’s unclear how long protesters will stay camped out, though he said “part of it has probably to do with the weather.”
This marks a clear softening in tone from recent days. When asked about an expiration date on Friday, Bloomberg cryptically said, “we’ll see what happens.” He also criticized the OWS saying, “What they’re trying to do is take the jobs away from people working in this city.”
The Occupy Wall Street protests have been underway for more than three weeks. With the exception of some isolated incidents, it’s largely been a peaceful event.