There is literally nothing we find more interesting than what current and former NYC mayors think about Occupy Wall Street. Obviously Mayor Bloomberg's bipolar responses to OWS have been well-documented, as he's wavered between damnation for any "class warfare" and respect for free speech. And Rudy Giuliani has made no secret of his hatred for “disgruntled bums” and “leftover hippies from the ’60s and ’70s.” Now, it's Ed Koch's turn to weigh in on OWS: "I’ve concluded the N.Y.P.D. acted superbly and made the people of the City of New York feel proud of the police officers’ professionalism under great provocation."
In an editorial for The Villager, Koch enthusiastically praises how the NYPD handled OWS-protests last week, when hundreds were arrested during the "day of action" after Zuccotti Park was cleaned out by the city. Among other things, he made a highly questionable comparison between reports of protesters shouting at children and the '60s civil rights movement:
One particularly painful scene was that of a group of protesters yelling at children on their way to school. The boys and girls appeared to be 6 to 8 years of age. The protesters appeared to be shouting at the students and frightening them. My memory harkened back to the 1960s when black children seeking to integrate a public school under court orders and were hooted at and frightened by white protesters. It was an awful feeling of déjà vu.
As we noted last week, that CBS report about protesters harassing children essentially amounted to one overhyped isolated incident (in which a father and daughter were captured on video being followed by someone), and flew in the face of the otherwise kid-friendly OWS activities which have been going on for the past two months.
Koch also praised Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly for their leadership and how they handled the eviction, and said other cities should emulate them: "Mayor Bloomberg should be congratulated and praised by every New Yorker for exercising a steady hand in his leadership of the city in dealing with the rights of all concerned involved in Occupy Wall Street. The actions of the mayor and the police officers of the N.Y.P.D. should be seen as a model for other cities similarly situated."
In case you were wondering, the only other living former NYC mayor, David Dinkins, told Daily Intel he thought OWS was "a difficult situation," and generally sounded glad he wasn't the one who had to deal with the ongoing protests. He also declined to critique Bloomberg on how he's been handling OWS: “It is easy, for those of us who do not have the responsibility, to critique negatively, a mayor or governor, or president, for that matter." But of course, you probably weren't really wondering what Dinkins thinks.