New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s girlfriend serves on the board of directors of the private company that owns the park which Occupy Wall Street protesters have used as their home base for the past few weeks, KleinOnline has learned.
The protesters have reportedly been making a mess of Zuccotti Park, a public space that’s owned by a private financial giant, Brookfield Office Properties Inc. The park, close to Wall Street, is named after Brookfield’s co-chairman, John Zuccotti.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Brookfield wanted the protesters removed, but it was Bloomberg’s New York Police Department that urged the private company to allow the protests to stay in the park. There actually isn’t much Brookfield can do to evict the protesters since the park’s charter allows for 24 hour public access.
The company complained in a statement on Friday that “because the protestors refuse to cooperate the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16th and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels.”
On his weekly radio show Friday, Bloomberg had harsh words for the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has already cost the city a reported $2 million in police overtime. However, it has emerged that Bloomberg’s long-term girlfriend, Diana L. Taylor, serves as one of nine members of Brookfield’s board of directors.
Ironically, the Occupy Wall Street movement’s landlord at Zuccotti Park is itself tied to some of the biggest corporate names. Among Brookfield’s properties are One, Two, Three, and Four of the World Financial Center complex, One Liberty Plaza, and One New York Plaza.
Stephen Lerner, a controversial anti-Capitalist SEIU organizer, is one of the forces behind the protests on Wall Street and nationwide, according to quotes obtained by a socialist activist who doubles as a Washington Post columnist.
KleinOnline was first to report that Lerner was the brainchild of some of the economic protest templates being used by the Occupy Wall Street campaign.
Lerner recently laid out a mass economic protest plan intended to bring down the stock market. Lerner boasted that his plan could be used to cause a new financial crisis. Lerner’s ideology prompted some conservative critics to go so far as to label him an economic terrorist.
Writing in the Washington Post on Tuesday, columnist Harold Meyerson, vice-chair of Democratic Socialists of America, quoted Lerner describing how a coalition of various groups are fomenting the current economic protests. Lerner described himself as part of those groups, referring to the organizations behind the demonstrations as “we.” Lerner told Meyerson: “It’s a confluence of planned and unplanned demonstrations . We build on each other. We go ping-ponging back and forth.”
Lerner came under fire in the conservative blogosphere and digital news in March after he laid out an economic plan some claimed amounts to economic terrorism.
In an op-ed entitled, “This Can Be Our Moment,” published in the radical These Times Magazine, Lerner calls on followers to “go on offense” and “make Wall Street pay for the trillions it stole from us.”
Lerner outlined his campaign to “stoke simmering discontent into concrete, concerted direct action to challenge corporate extremism.” Lerner’s campaign was intended to sow “the seeds of a movement that turns the tables on [Wall Street].”
TheBlaze.com first posted a video of Lerner addressing a conference in which he stated the aim of such an economic campaign would be, among other things, to “bring down the stock market” and “literally cause a new financial crisis.”
NATO troops are training in Turkey for a Turkish-led NATO invasion of Syria, a senior Syrian diplomatic official claimed to this column.
Separately, informed Middle East security officials said Russia has been inspecting Syrian forces and has been advising Syria about possible Syrian military responses should NATO attack the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The officials said Russia recently sold Syria a large quantity of Iskander ballistic missiles, and that, in light of the NATO threat, the Russian government renewed its pledge to sell Syria the advanced S-300 anti-missile system.
The Syrian diplomatic official, meanwhile, recognized his country receives general support from Russia, but told this column that Assad’s regime is concerned the European Union and U.S. may offer Russia an economic incentive to scale back Russian support for Syria.
The report comes as Assad reportedly warned he will set the Middle East on fire if NATO forces attack his country. He warned he would fire rockets in Tel Aviv while Iran could attack U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.
Some in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office are taking comments this week by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as a direct assault against the Israeli leader.
Upon arriving in Israel on Sunday, Panetta argued Israel carried a portion of the blame for its deteriorating relationship with Turkey and Egypt.
Panetta made the remarks at a press conference. He was flanked by Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, who is also an opposition leader.
There have been indications Democrat operatives may be attempting to unseat Netanyahu. According to an investigative report in Israel’s Maariv’s newspaper, the country’s mass social protests were engineered by a group of media strategists directed by prominent Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg, a former adviser to Bill Clinton, John Kerry and others.
Greenberg reportedly is working with Israeli strategists who were behind left-wing leader Ehud Barak’s successful race for prime minister in 1999. Greenberg himself helped to run Barak’s campaign.