Spring is in the air and so is the Occupy Movement. I had a great online discussion today with a couple of people and even with the realization that we had differing opinions, it was a comforting experience. It confirmed that people from all walks of life are still engaged, angry and it gave me confidence that the movement is still relevant.
Here’s is the conversation.
Karen: “Watching the news and can’t believe the occupiers are throwing things at people and breaking things, I can’t believe how many police are out to try and contain them… Maybe if they were given the bill to pay for the extra police instead of my tax dollars having to pay for it they would think twice about it? Come on people, lets move on and quit bothering all the people who are trying to make a living!!”
Debbie: “I agree. No meaningful message gets out with violence and destruction.”
Roger: “Hmmm….should I comment? As initially reported, no violence until police arrived.”
Karen: “Roger, are you saying the police provoked these people into being violent or that they had no intention of vandalizing or being violent until the police showed up? The thing that gets me is that these people will go and smash in windows and “protest”, and wear masks so nobody knows who they are – if you are not planning on vandalizing or being an idiot you shouldn’t have to hide behind a mask. Maybe it’s just me…if you want to take over a building, do it the right way, not by throwing pipes and whatever else off the roof in a random manner not caring who or where it lands on. This whole thing has turned into mass chaos and destruction. Why was it necessary to mash in windows to small businesses two nights ago? What was the occupying and then the shop owner has to pay to replace their windows and cleanup – it’s bullshit?”
Karen: “Not all of that was directed at you, Roger, I was just asking you the question and then started ranting cause I find it so frustrating. I saw on the news this morning that some people who worked in downtown Oakland had a hard time getting home yesterday and I just don’t get it.”
Roger: “I think 90% of the Occupy folks are true protesters and then there are the other 10% that just use the movement as an excuse to be violent and break crap. Many of the bad 10% wait ’til the police show up so they can challenge them.”
Roger: “But…it is also Constitutionally illegal for the police to break up a non-violent protest on government or “commons” property. So many police forces yesterday were in violation of Federal Law. incidentally, many Bostonians in 1773 didn’t “get it” when the Sons of Liberty tossed the tea into the harbor but they are considered heroes today!
Roger: “I’m not offended, Karen, It’s good to vent!”
Debbie: “I am frustrated as a 99er because the message we are trying to get out is so important, the system is broken and no one in power will deal with it because corruption and greed are so wide-spread. But that small portion of protesters who start trouble by destroying things are destroying the damn message. Ergg!!”
Roger: “Hang in there Debbie, you can’t hold back the will of the people forever. Unfortunately, violence is part of the process and it will get worse before true change occurs. I hope I’m wrong but history proves that changes in the power structure don’t happen until those in power feel the wrath of the people. Again, I hope I’m wrong!”
Roger: “Karen, Debbie, great subject and discussion!”
After a winter of hibernation, the seeds of discontent and change are coming back to life.