Michael Bloomberg’s hasty decision to turf the Occupy Wall Street protesters out of Zuccotti Park late last night has claimed another victim – the full day the mayor intended to spend in Washington D.C.
As late as 8 p.m. last night – hours before police swooped on the encampment – Mr. Bloomberg was set to give a speech at the Inaugural Bipartisan Congressional Conference on Innovation in Giving and Philanthropy, before testifying before the Senate on reforming background checks for gun purchases and then taking a photo-op with supporters Charles Schumer and Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino.
Gun control is one of the mayor’s pet issues: he is co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a campaign group which released a report yesterday detailing how official inaction and legal loopholes make it easy for drug users and the mentally ill to get their hands on firearms.
It’s not clear what exactly inspired Mr. Bloomberg to change his mind at such a late juncture. That said, he may well have been motivated by Occupy events in Oakland yesterday, where mayor Jean Quan lost her deputy and legal advisor over her alleged mishandling of the protest.