Most Occupy Wall Street protesters are viewing recent developments at Zuccotti Park -- namely, the decision late Thursday night by the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties Inc., to . postpone cleaning -- in a very positive light. After all, most protesters felt the private company, working in cahoots with the city, had contrived the ridiculous cleanup plan as a sneaky way to evict them from the park. Now that the cleaning has been delayed and an ugly confrontation between demonstrators and police (at least for the moment) avoided, the OWS movement is declaring victory.
But not so fast! Before the protesters do the happy dance over this triumph, they'd best read the fine print:
Deputy Mayor Caswell Halloway said that Brookfield is hoping to broker some sort of deal with the protesters in the next few days:
Brookfield believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown.
An "agreement," eh? Admittedly, I don't sit on the board of major real estate developers and date mayors. But I can think of an "agreement" that would be win-win for everyone in this situation. Pay the protesters to clean-up the park. Give them one of the major things they say there isn't enough of -- jobs.
Sure, some protesters may complain because they'll actually have to work for one day. But the movement is already well-stocked with cleaning supplies, having putting a call out to Facebook and Twitter this week for brooms, mops, squeegees, dust pans, garbage bags, and the like. Why let a good donated power washer go to waste?
Hiring the protesters to clean up Zuccotti Park solves more than a few problems: It gives them something to do besides get arrested; the park will be fresh and clean; and all the neighbors on Wall Street won't be able to yell their tired (not to mention ignorant) insult at the demonstrators, "Go get a job!" Why? Because they'll have one! At least for one day.
Image via NLNY/Flickr