Tourists and community leaders in New York City’s lower Manhattan are upset because the famous “Charging Bull” statue remains surrounded by a police barrier six weeks after Occupy Wall Street
protesters were evicted from Zuccotti Park.
Business advocates say that using police barricades to fence off the 3-1/2-ton Wall Street icon has kept tourist dollars out of the pockets of local merchants.
“One of the most popular monuments and sources of tourism is being kept away from the public,” Arthur Picollo, chairman of the community group Bowling Green Association, complained to the New York Post
. “It is an outlandish decision to keep those barricades there. Uncage the bull!”
Demonstrators of what became known as Occupy Wall Street first gathered around the 7,100-pound bronze behemoth on Sept. 17 before taking over Zuccotti Park for two months.
Police told the Post they are protecting the bull from potential attacks by protesters. “I know they’re mostly gone from the park, but I saw 10 of them here today,” an officer told the Post. “Our thinking is that they might come back and try something. We don’t want anything to happen to the bull.”
“There’s just no more tourists anymore,” said a worker from an area deli. “[The barricades] make everything look closed, so tourists don’t know to come down here. We are all a little worried.”
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