Councilman Jumaane Williams has been a proud supporter of Occupy Wall Street since the early days of the movement last year. He proudly pins his Occupy button on his suit even for formal interviews and rather freely shouts “All day, all week! Occupy Wall Street!” when around activists. However, the Occupy movement isn’t what it once was. Notably, the crowds are far smaller while the movement’s message still remains muddled to many outside observers. We asked Mr. Williams about the state of Occupy after he hosted a press conference earlier today on voter confusion.
“I actually think they’ve done a lot more than they get credit for,” Mr. Williams replied. “But I also think they’ve got to try and remain as focused as possible on the core issues that they started with so I’m a little concerned about that.”
Given Mr. Williams’ concern, Politicker asked the councilman if he still identifies with the movement and how long he will continue to be broadcasting their message by wearing his Occupy button.
“I don’t know, I still identify with it, hopefully I can continue to,” Mr. Williams, who is still sporting the pin, said. “I want them to get more focused. … I think they get a little sidetracked at times.”
Additionally we asked Mr. Williams–who has had multiple unpleasant encounters with the NYPD since being elected–about a police officer forcefully shoving him at the latest Occupy rally. The councilman said he’s not exactly sure why he continues to be on the receiving end of this kind of undesired police attention, but vowed to continue attending protests if he supports the cause.
“I don’t know, I’ve been to many protests including Occupy and I’ve been able to observe without incident,” he explained. “I’m looking forward to continuing to do that as we move forward.”