As a tense, stormy night turned into a jubilant morning, Brookfield Properties blinked and rescinded their demand to clean Zuccotti Park, where hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters have set up camp for the last month. Mayor Bloomberg in turn told the NYPD to stand down, and outside of some punches and a few arrests, things have stabilized downtown. But don't think that Bloomberg is happy over the way things got to this breaking point.
The mayor spent much of his weekly radio appearance on the John Gambling Show on WWOR discussing the escalating situation at Zuccotti Park, and he offered some particularly bitchy words for city officials who aided protesters by calling up Brookfield, who owns the Park. "My understanding is Brookfield got lots of calls from many elected officials, threatening them and saying if you don't stop this we'll make your life more difficult," Bloomberg said. "If those elected officials had spent half as much time trying to promote the city to get jobs to come here we would a lot more ways towards answering the concerns of the protestors." Those elected officials included Rep. Jerry Nadler and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Of course, Bloomberg didn't mention how his girlfriend Diana Taylor sits on the board of Brookfield Properties.
Zuccotti Park is a privately-owned public space; it's open 24 hours a day to the public, but is nevertheless owned by Brookfield, and they are allowed to impose “reasonable” rules regarding behavior and cleanliness. So the city can't do anything there unless Brookfield calls them in.
Bloomberg sounded disappointed that didn't happen today, and gave a vague threat to protesters that this was only a temporary stopgap, and the clock was still ticking: "I've asked what would happen if they cannot (reach a deal). The answer I got was they would want to go ahead and do exactly what they were going to do this morning," Bloomberg said. "From our point of view, it will be a little bit harder, I think, at that point in time to provide police protection. But we have the greatest police department in the world and will do what is necessary."
It also came out today that Brookfield has netted nearly $700,000 in government handouts since the 9/11 terror attacks, under somewhat shady circumstances related to a small affiliate of Brookfield being treated as its own small business—the company received multiple six-figure grants meant for small businesses hurt by 9/11.