At Jacobin, Ross Barkan details the awfulness of Michael Bloomberg: authoritarian crack-downs on protestors (the 2004 Republican convention, Occupy Wall Street), racist stop-and-frisk and surveillance of Muslim communities, support for the criminal invasion of Iraq, apologetics for China and Saudi Arabia, and policies that increased inequality and economic injustice.
It is shameful that the Democrats are even considering this guy.
If you were a Muslim in Bloomberg’s New York, the NYPD was deployed to spy, without cause, on your mosque. Bloomberg’s police infiltrated Muslim student groups and put informants in mosques. The blanket surveillance, the NYPD would later admit, didn’t produce any tangible leads. Three lawsuits were eventually settled after Bloomberg left office.
Under Bloomberg, police stops — which overwhelmingly targeted black and Latino men — increased from 97,296 in 2002 to a peak of 685,724 in 2011. The stops, for these young men, were traumatizing, as heavily armed police officers stalked and then aggressively searched their bodies for no justifiable cause. In 2013, a federal judge ruled the practice unconstitutional....
...In 2011, armed police stormed Zuccotti Park in the middle of the night to forcefully break up Occupy Wall Street, a movement that kicked off a public reckoning with America’s surging income inequality. The protest ultimately offended his sensibilities. “I don’t appreciate the bashing of all the hard-working people who live and work here and pay the taxes that support our city,” Bloomberg said at the time.
Bloomberg’s total lack of interest in staunching his own city’s spiraling inequality fueled homelessness and displacement. Rezonings in formerly working-class neighborhoods spurred luxury development and increasingly unsustainable rent hikes. His lavish donations to Republicans in the State Senate ensured New York’s laws protecting tenants would remain in a weakened state as long as he remained in office. Public housing further crumbled under his watch. And in 2011, Bloomberg killed a housing subsidy program for homeless families, directly triggering the homelessness crisis New York is still grappling with today.
With a straight face, Bloomberg now supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15. Yet, as mayor, Bloomberg repeatedly decried wage hikes as anti-business. In fact, as recently as 2015 he said he was “not in favor, have never been in favor, of raising the minimum wage.”