Since I listen to NPR a lot and spend WAY too much time on Facebook, it has come to my attention that there is a little revolution going on in this United States (and some in Canada too) called the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
It seems to me, that Americans are (finally) standing up and making thier voices heard about various things that bother them. It seems to me that the purpose of the movement is to remind the government that people like me are the majority. I'm not wealthy, I dream the American Dream, which some days seems farther away than I think. But then, of the 99%, I'm a "lucky" one. My choices have kept me in good jobs with decent paychecks and medical covereage. I have a working car (even if she is old and will have to be replaced soon) and own my home. Did I say dream? I think I am living the American Dream. Maybe I am not part of the 99% after all.
I like that folks are standing up and being heard. I can't go protest for various reasons (firstly, I would like to keep my job. Secondly, I don't want to, and thirdly, I don't know where it is in my town. I'm ok with that) but I think it's important for people to stnad up for thier rights and be heard. It's one of the fabulous things about our great country and I tend to think that the extremes have too much voice in this country. (hello Tea Party).
Something I heard while NPR was invading my dreams this morning bothered me though. In Seattle, the protesters were kicked out of the park they were in because it is illegal to camp there overnight. After the tents were down, jars were being passed around so that new ones could be purchased.
I wasn't there, so I don't know HOW the tents were taken down, but having taken down a lot of tents in my time, I don't see how this would have rendered them unusable. That isn't the point. The news story made it sound like it was the Police's fault the protesters were being moved. And Thank Goodness it all went peacefully.
Then the next story was about how in New York, the police came in to move the protesters because the park needed to be pressure washed and sanitized. But they decided to let them stay and skip the washing and avoid the drama. The protesters feel like they won a battle against the city because they didn't get kicked out of the park.
Let me first say that whatever is going on out there is not the fault of the Police. They, like me, are just doing their jobs. Their job is to uphold the law. That's what your taxes, whether you want them to or not, are paying for and THANK GOODNESS because without those laws and the police officers to uphold them, there would be anarchy. Anarchy is only a good theory when you don't consider the consequences to yourself and your family. Anarchy is for rebellious teenagers and psychotic adults. Are there times when the Police get a little too rough? Yes. And yes, I remember Rodney King and yes I know some protesters have been sprayed with pepper spray and arrested. Guess what? a couple of months ago in Northern Africa, there were some protesters standing up for their rights and demanding governmental change, and they got shot. Now they are dead. And they weren't asking for the government to be "fair", they were asking for basic human rights.
I could be wrong about this movement. Maybe over the years I have snuck too far over to the right wing thinking. It seems to me that fighting against the police though, it doesn't get a whole lot done. Would it hurt the protesters so much to move for a couple of hours so that the park where they are protesting can be maintained? Do you know what that many people can do to landscaping? Are you going to protest when your taxes get raised so that there are funds to replace all that grass? Are there adequate Bathrooms? Because I know how much a large group of people can fill up a port o let and I also know that without bathrooms, people use trees and bushes. Dirty. Disease. Do you know how much global disease is caused by inadequate sanitation? Think Hepatitis and Cholora. If even one person in that crowd has Hepatitis and accidentally contaminates the masses, healthcare costs are REALLY going to skyrocket. You know, since some of those people out there protesting are doing so because they can't afford healthcare.
So protest. Please protest. You have some valid issues and I am SO glad you all are making sure that you are being heard. But maybe know the laws and follow them. GO home at night if you have one or move about the city. Then there will be fewer run ins with the cops. But then again, there will be fewer news stories covering the protests too...