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Gov. Cuomo enforces curfew for Occupy protest

By Michael Gormley

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 1 2011 3:53 p.m. MDT

ALBANY, N.Y. — Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that he will continue to enforce a nightly curfew that's keeping a contingent of Occupy Wall Street protesters who call him "Governor 1 Percent" out of a state park.

Cuomo called the protest across the street from the Capitol a "situation that has to be managed." He noted that hundreds and sometimes thousands of protesters are common during a legislative session and curfews need to be enforced to avoid long encampments.

"The state's position is we have to enforce the curfews if we are going to operate the (state) complex," Cuomo said. "So we will enforce the curfew. We have said that since Day One."

Cuomo had pressured Albany city officials to enforce the 11 p.m. curfew in the adjacent city-owned park as well. But Democratic Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings ultimately refused and the encampment has spent two weeks across the street from the Capitol in the city park.

"The city has decided not to enforce their curfew, that's fine, too," Cuomo said Tuesday.

On Thursday, more than 50 protesters peacefully entered the Capitol to make speeches near Cuomo's office. Cuomo was in his New York City office, where he has been during most of the Occupy Albany event.

The Occupy Albany demonstration has been under way for two weeks during a lull in state government. Not only wasn't Cuomo around, but the Legislature has been out of session since June and isn't due to return until January.

But they found a target in Cuomo. Many protested that he represents the richest 1 percent of Americans, who flourish at the expense of the other 99 percent. Occupy Albany opposes Cuomo for stopping an effort to extend a surcharge on New Yorkers making over $200,000 a year that will lapse Dec. 31 and opposing a Democratic proposal in the Assembly to tax New Yorkers more who earn over $1 million a year. They have noted Cuomo's biggest campaign contributors include Manhattan developers and corporate leaders.

Cuomo has said the tax proposals would drive millionaires, their revenue and their jobs to Connecticut and New Jersey and beyond.

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