Home > Occupy Wall Street > Why Occupy Wall Street Needs To End Now!

Why Occupy Wall Street Needs To End Now!

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I remember when the whole Occupy Wall Street thing started about two months ago.  I started out it seemed as a protest against the Wall Street bailouts and the huge bonuses that executives receive regardless of the company’s performance.  That type of protest I can understand.  You don’t think it’s fair that these folks are receiving undeserved millions of dollars.  That’s fair.

But since then the actual protests have been overshadowed by everything else that’s gone on at the Occupy campsites.  And it’s a fairly impressive list of lawless behavior – rape, sexual assault, assaulting police, public urination, vandalism, theft, disturbing the peace.  Stories are breaking on almost a daily basis of something that’s going on in the Occupy camps.  Demonstrators need to be broken up with tear gas by police in riot gear.  Dozens of people are being arrested at a time.

While the underlying reason that they’re gathering is the same, the protests have become beyond unruly.  Innocent people are getting injured, intimidated and taken advantage of.  I found particularly disturbing this story where protestors were yelling at and heckling children as young as 4 years old who were simply on their way to school.

Seriously.  Taunting young kids and their parents on the way to school.  And what in particular have they done to offend you?  Are they CEOs and their spoiled silver-spooned children they’re taunting?  No, they’re common everyday citizens – the 99% as the protestors continue to spew.  Should Occupy Wall Street even be considered a protest any more or are the protestors simply turning into common street thugs emboldened by power in numbers?

Obviously, not every protestor is a bad apple.  I debated with a commenter last week who wanted to clarify the differences between the law-abiding protestors and the bad apples.  While he made some worthwhile points, I offered the following reasoning why I believe the Occupy Wall Street protests need to end immediately.

I agree 100% that any otherwise rule-abiding citizen who is peacefully and legally protesting (regardless of their political affiliation or whether or not I agree with what they’re protesting) deserves the ability to protest. I have no doubt that the majority of protestors are doing just that but I also agree that there a lot of undesirables that are getting all the attention right now and are ruining things for everybody.

My concern is the fact that the protests are drawing these undesirables and bad things are happening to innocent people before anyone can police the situation – the girls that are getting sexually assaulted, the people that are getting physically assaulted, etc. That’s why I stand by my assertion that the protests need to be broken up. I completely support people’s rights to protest but it also needs to be done in a manner which ensures safety to all.

I still stand by my original opinion.  If they’re protesting peacefully, they should be allowed to stay.  They’re obviously not.  They claim to be protesting peacefully but anybody who’s checked out the news even a little bit can see that’s not the case.  They need to go.  And while we’re at it, let’s consider the reasons why they need to go.

First, they’re squatting, not assembling. They’re “occupying” public property for their own self-interests. You can’t occupy public land any more than I can walk into my neighbor’s house and say that I live there now.  And that’s not even discussing the fact that they’re destroying the place.

Second, the Constitution gives you the right to “lawfully assemble”. What part of rape, sexual assault, killing, vandalism and public urination falls under “lawful”?  These have turned into vagrant communities that are, again, hurting innocent people (I hate to sound like a broken record but it IS what’s happening).

The Occupy Wall Street protests need to end.  At least until they can restore some order at these camps.  I support the rights of police to use force in removing the protestors when orders are not being followed.  If they can’t protest and make their arguments in a safe manner, they need to move on.

What say you?  Should the protestors be allowed to stay or should the police use force in breaking up the camps?  Please feel free to comment below.

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  1. dbaldwin86
    November 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Dave,

    How many of the camps have you actually been to? Two, three, ten? Or are you just “ranting” about what you have read online? Have some courage and actually go to a camp, get a feel for its people, and find out whether it is lawful or not.

    Friday night was light up night in down-town Pittsburgh. I can gaurantee that there was more public urination, vandalism, sexual assault, and littering done by the crowds than those who peacefully occupy Mellon Green with BNY Mellon’s permission (which is private, not public property).

    Dean

    • November 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      I have been to zero camps and I plan on going to zero camps. Yes, my judgement is coming from what I’ve read and what I’ve seen. And, trust me, I’ve seen enough to know that while maybe the majority of protestors are doing their thing in a law-abiding and peaceful manner, there are enough bad apples in there to spoil the bunch. If it is a “peaceful” protest then OWS needs to police themselves and eject the bad apples that are souring their public perception right now. Until that cleans up, I’m not interested in getting a feel for it in person.

      • November 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

        Wow, that seems to be a pretty unreasonable position. You have no interest in seeing this protests up close but am happy to critique them and think they should be closed up?

        Furthermore, I was the commentator to whom (I believe) you referred. You never really did address my questions in my comment about cities and police forces not working with, and therefore working against, the protestors to cause various types of problems. After all, the police could send dangerous types to OWS, and when these dangerous types predictably cause problems, disingenuously blame OWS for the situation.

        This link talks about how some of these stories have been misconstrued:
        http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/11/21/checking-in-with-statler-and-waldorf/

        How ’bout this example of extreme non-violence:
        http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/silent-shame.html

        You’re condemning all of OWS because of limited cases of problems coming from dubious evidence. If you’re so quick to condemn a group for the actions of a few, what about condemning the police forces that have overreacted in several documented instances? Furthermore, police forces are professionals and should know better.

        And, your logic about occupation and public/private lands doesn’t make sense. You compared them with you walking into your neighbor’s house. That’s private property vs public property? Very different situations.

        That begs the further question, where should protestors protest if you don’t think they should protest on private or public land?

      • November 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

        Nick,

        Let me attempt to address your questions one by one.

        From your original comment…..
        Has OWS worked with the cities to get port-a-potties and sanitation issues resolved? Yes, I’ve heard of this happening. I don’t know how successful the effort is or isn’t other than to say I’ve heard of cities bringing in facilities to help alleviate the issues.

        Are police sending troublemakers to OWS sites? I’ve not heard about this. If you have a link, I’d be happy to read.

        From this comment…..
        Yes, you’re correct that I don’t have an interest in seeing the protests up close. And I don’t think that attending an OWS protest should be a prerequisite for forming a critique. I don’t need to go to Lambeau Field to know that the Green Bay Packers are a pretty darn good football team. I also haven’t travelled to the Middle East in order to form an opinion on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan either. I get my news through what I read in newspapers and online and on television. If I get incorrect news through a bad source then that’s my fault. But there seem to be a lot of cases of unsavory stuff going on there.

        The extreme non-violence case is a great story. These folks are making their protest but they’re not disturbing anybody or causing a fuss. They should be allowed to stay and protest. I have no problem with that. I’m not against OWS protesting at a high level. It’s the stuff that goes with it that I have a problem with.

        Dubious evidence? Are all these reports of theft and assault based on dubious evidence? Some of them may be but it’s irresponsible to label these stories as dubious. And yes, if it’s shown that police have acted irresponsibly (e.g. using pepper spray inappropriately) then they should be disciplined appropriately and removed. Absolutely.

        Private or public property doesn’t really matter. It’s living on land that doesn’t belong to you. If somebody puts up a tent on my front lawn and says they’re going to stay there indefinitely, I’m getting them off of it. If somebody puts up a tent in a public park and says they’re going to stay there indefinitely, police are going to get them off of it.

        Where should they protest? I have no problem with someone protesting on public land for a reasonable period of time. But you can’t bring a tent and make it your home for over two months and destroy the property in the process and claim it’s your right to be there and protest. It’s not difficult to use the sniff test to determine if it’s reasonable or not.

  2. November 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Dave, I actually came here this evening to tell you that I started to respond to your post and realized I had an entire blog myself. Thanks for inspiring me!

    For the other commenters, I can say this:

    I really wanted to get behind this movement. I get it. I have a lot of friends out of work and barely making it. Portland, Oregon has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. I can tell you that Dave is not off at all in his assessment and I can say that because I live about 20 minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon. I actually have driven by the camp there and I have been watching our local news very closely, much of it peppered with protestors talking about their movement and local business explaining the effect it is having on them. I can tell you first hand – it smells terrible, it is spilling out onto the sidewalk, and protestors are harassing passersby. Although we have major stores in Portland, many of the merchants there are small business, mom and pop type stores. Within the first two weeks of the occupation, crime jumped 81% in that area and that area alone. As a result, people are afraid to go downtown and small businesses are in danger of closing. Between that and the marching in the streets (which they aren’t supposed to do, they promised to stay on sidewalks) they did last week, cars were stopped, deliveries couldn’t be made, and commerce all but ground to a halt. In Portland the protestors were told that if a woman is sexually assaulted she needed to go to their sexual assault team, who would then alert the police, but that if she didn’t go the the SA team, the other protestors were not to notify PD. A woman was sexually assaulted, the SA team passed it around, and it was swept under the rug so as not to bring negative attention to the movement. A registered sex offender came up from California and registered the movement as his address. Protest “organizers” (I use that term loosely) accepted him because they felt he had the right to participate too. Fine, but who is keeping track of his movements within the camp, since there is a children’s section and a volunteer run daycare? During one interview on the local news several of the organizers were interviewed at the same time and each of them had different reasons for participating in the protest, and they can’t come up with an intended outcome. It should also be noted that Mayor Sam Adams actually waited and has been criticized for waiting so long to evict protestors. It has now been over a week since the eviction notice was served.

    Thanks for you post, Dave.

    In case a first-hand account doesn’t work, here are some links:

    Sex offender at Occupy Portland http://www.kptv.com/story/15699875/occupy-portland-camp-housing-registered-sex-offender

    2nd sex offender arrested at Occupy Portland http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/11/another-sex-offender-arrested-at-occupy-portland-was-bunking-in-tent-with-camp-mom/

    Reporting of sexual assault http://ironicsurrealism.com/2011/11/11/occupyportland-if-you-witness-sexual-assault-“nobody-should-contact-the-police”/

    Portland Businesses http://blog.oregonlive.com/myoregon/2011/11/portland_sends_a_mixed_message.html

    attempting to shut down one of the bridges (a big deal, since Portland is split in half by the Willamette River) http://www.kgw.com/news/N17-group-plans-bank-shutdowns-Thursday-133907833.html

    • November 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Glad to supply the inspiration! Thanks for your thoughts! I enjoyed your take on your blog as well.

  3. November 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    While agree with you, force is rarely the answer, especially in this sort of situation.
    I just wish people could get involved in the state of the world without turning it into a circus.

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