Mayor Michael Bloomberg did what he does best yesterday. He struck a blow against some of New York City’s poorest people by raiding stores in Chinatown.
The Office of Special Enforcement seized fake Rolex, Coach and Gucci products, shut down 32 shops and put hundreds of New Yorkers out of work.
The mayor seemed proud of all this.
“Whoever you are, wherever you are, we are going to shut you down,” Bloomberg said at his Canal Street press conference.
This was all done to support multi-billion dollar corporations like Switzerland-based Rolex, which thanked Bloomberg for “recognizing the pervasive crime of trademark counterfeiting and stepping up to the plate.”
I’m sure a custom-made Rolex is on its way to City Hall, but that doesn’t pay the bills in Chinatown. People were back on the streets selling the American-made “fake” watches before the mayor even finished his little speech. New Yorkers have to be industrious to survive in a place where the best interests of a Swiss company are a priority at City Hall.
This is the same City Hall that just cut a tax deal worth $20 million for Major League Baseball to locate its new television network in East Harlem.
The same City Hall that closed the East Harlem Little League field last spring to build another luxury building.
The same City Hall that gives Manhattan’s richest private schools priority use of the baseball fields on Randall’s Island.
The same City Hall that allowed the Yankees to start construction on a new stadium before replacing the parks they took.
The same City Hall that fines people who try to scrape out a living by collecting recyclables off the street.
The same City Hall that allows housing prices to spin out of control and utility companies to rack up record profits while our infrastructure crumbles.
That same City Hall took a shot at people who can’t afford a “real” Rolex yesterday. The mayor got a watch for brokering the deal.