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Ex-guv David Paterson: Occupy Wall Street 'very well organized'

Former Gov. David Paterson

Former Gov. David Paterson Photo Credit: Former Gov. David Paterson tours protester's camp at Zuccotti Park / Marc Beja

The Wall Street protesters have another high-profile fan: former Gov. David Paterson.

Paterson took a tour of their base at Zuccotti Park Thursday, where the group that is voicing their discontent with the country’s social and economic policies has been camping out for nearly two weeks.

“Very well organized,” Paterson told amNewYork as he walked past mattresses, sleeping bags and resting activists, “and they said they balanced their budget, which was more than I could do in three years.”

“They obviously care about the society they live in. They care about other people,” he continued. “So I think that you would have to view this as a positive demonstration.”

David Paterson gives us his thoughts. Story continues below video.

But the former Governor turned radio show host stopped short of endorsing their movement. “They’re still at a point where they are conferencing and organizing exactly what their point of view is, so it’s for me to talk about that,” he said.

Hundreds of protesters are expected to march tomorrow from the park, near Wall Street, to police headquarters to protest what they call “brutal” behavior by the NYPD during scores of arrests last weekend.

Commissioner Ray Kelly said the NYPD is looking into two videos that show a police official pepper-spraying people in the face, and other online videos allegedly show cops throwing protesters to the ground and striking them.

Though Paterson admitted he hadn’t seen the videos, he said the cops may have crossed the line.

“My initial thought is that there may have been an excessive use of force,” Paterson said. “This looks like a pretty peaceful gathering.”


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