After reading this article about it on DNAinfo, some may be inclined to blame the latter. Although Marc Epstein, the owner of Milk Street Cafe, claims Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are ruining his business, forcing him to lay off 21 workers, it sounds more like it’s the fault of the exaggerated police presence. And that’s based on his own words.
After all, the protesters are located a few block north at Zuccotti Park. The only group actually occupying Wall Street in the true sense of the word, is the NYPD. They’re the ones that set up barricades and have required people to produce IDs to get access to the area, a fact he even alludes to:
“Now, Wall Street is deserted,” Epstein said. “The only people who walk down Wall Street are people who have to walk down Wall Street. It’s transformed from a beautiful pedestrian mall to a police siege.”
“If we don’t get these barricades down, we will be out of business,” Epstein said Monday. “I give myself three weeks.”
But just like the overtime costs, is it fair to really hang this directly on the heads of protesters? The NYPD is notorious for being overhanded when in comes to demonstrations.