Parking Not

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Dressed in suits and plastic top hats and carrying a disquieting green puppet depicting Mayor Giuliani’s head on a stick, about 30 protesters spent the afternoon of February 11 camped out in a Wall Street-area parking spot–this one reserved for the limousines and car services that ferry investment bankers home at night.

The demonstrators, organized by the public-space advocacy group Reclaim the Streets, were responding to the recent news that lobbyist Suri Kassirer–wife of the mayor’s political action committee chief, Bruce Teitelbaum–managed to secure exclusive rights for the cars to park outside the Broad Street entrance of the $20 billion investment firm Goldman Sachs.

Their message was clear: “Giuliani is a racist corporate stooge,” read one sign.

But Wall Street was unmoved. “Why don’t you go back to school and get real jobs?” shouted one well-dressed passerby, Dave Mattera. “I think these people have a lot of nerve,” continued Mattera, who works at the downtown Icon Computer Group. He felt the parking privileges are a fair trade-off, considering the investment firm’s altruistic efforts: “I think Goldman Sachs gives their employees one paid day off a year to do community service.”