New York mayor warns protesters to stay away from banks
New York: New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has warned the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters in his weekly radio show, saying attacks on banks could harm one of the city's major employers.
"Everyone's got a thing they want to protest, some of which is not realistic," said Bloomberg Friday. "You can't have it both ways: If you want jobs you have to assist companies and give them confidence to go and hire people."
Bloomberg also warned the protesters "if anybody in the city breaks the law we will arrest them and turn them over (to) the district attorneys."
Bloomberg attacked the labour unions who joined the protests this week, saying "their salaries come from - are paid by - some of the people they're trying to vilify".
The Occupy Wall Street protests emerged Sep 17, with only a few dozen demonstrators -- mostly young people -- trying to erect tents before the New York Stock Exchange. With access denied by the police, they turned to Zuccotti Park as their camping ground. The number of participants has since grown to hundreds, Xinhua reported.
The protesters voice against corporate greed, social inequality, climate change and other problems, but have so far failed to render any clear political demand or reform scheme.
Nevertheless, they have found vehement support from people of various walks of life, as an increasing number of Americans are frustrated by the country's slow recovery from the three-year recession and persisting high unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.
While thousands of New York City union workers and university students took to the streets in downtown Manhattan Wednesday to show their support for Occupy Wall Street, the movement has also spread to other US cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Boston.