Occupy Wall Street takes drum circle to Bloomberg's doorstep
Less than a week after Mayor Michael Bloomberg booted the Occupy Wall Street protesters from their Zuccotti Park home, they brought their sleeping bags and musical instruments uptown to camp outside his apartment.
Hundreds of demonstrators marched to Bloomberg's Upper East Side home yesterday for what they hoped would be a 24-hour drum circle outside his building. Some danced, a few played on wind and brass instruments, and others banged on snare drums, pots and pans.
Police blocked off the sidewalks on Bloomberg's street and corralled the demonstrators on Fifth Avenue between 78th and 79th streets, kettling them into a pen where they were drumming and dancing. As of press time, the scene was generally peaceful and without incident. A police spokesman said they had no plans to make the protesters leave.
Jeff Smith, a press liaison for the protesters, called the rally retaliation for an early-morning raid by cops on Zuccotti Park last Wednesday, saying, "Bloomberg is the one calling the shots. ... We want to return the favor.
"He is the personification of what this protest is about," Smith added. "He is a self-funded plutocrat who took his third term against the will of the people and runs the city for the benefit of himself and his rich friends on Wall Street."
It was unclear if Bloomberg was home at the time. His only public appearance Sunday was at a 7:30 p.m. news conference at City Hall.
"Protests outside the Mayor's home are nothing new," Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said in an email. "We work hard to guarantee that anyone can express their views in any area of the city, as long as they do it legally and do not infringe on the rights of others."
Dan Taylor, a carpenter who lives in nearby Yorkville who was at Sunday's protest, acknowledged Bloomberg "is in a tough spot" dealing with the demonstrators.
"He's part of Wall Street himself," Taylor, 60, said. "The demonstration is against him as much as anyone else."
Meanwhile, two protesters were arrested at Zuccotti Park Sunday, police said.
Noel Campbell, 52, allegedly threw an unidentified liquid in a police officer's face. The officer was treated at the scene and was not injured.
Another protester, who police identified as Star Bunn, was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest for trying to bring a sleeping bag into the park, despite rules that prohibit them.
(With Tim Herrera and Erik Ortiz)
(This story has been updated since its original publication.)