Bloomberg: 'Occupiers' Can Stay Indefinitely

'People want to express themselves': mayor
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2011 3:39 PM CDT
Nicole Von Haack folds blankets on a mattress while participating in the "Occupy Wall Street" protests in Zuccotti Park, Friday, October 7, 2011, in New York.   (AP Photo/Andrew Burton)
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(Newser) – Turns out our huddled masses can breathe free as long as they want to. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today that "Occupy Wall Street" protesters can continue to use Zuccotti Park as home base indefinitely, reports Politico via the Wall Street Journal. The park is just a few blocks away from Wall Street. “The bottom line is—people want to express themselves," Bloomberg says. "And as long as they obey the laws, we’ll allow them to."

Bloomberg's diplomatic offer amounts to an about-face from last week, when he slammed the "Occupiers" for criticizing banks—a major city employer. How long does he think they will stay? “I think part of it has probably to do with the weather,” says Bloomberg. The park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, made no comment today but complained last week that park bans on tents and sleeping bags were being ignored, and sanitary conditions had “reached unacceptable levels.” (Read more Occupy Wall Street stories.)

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