It is easy to sympathize with some of the sentiments of the Occupy Anything Because We Have Nothing Better To Do movement.
Corporate greed isn’t a good thing as long as you don’t confuse the right to make a profit with those Wall Street types who bend, fold, and mutilate the system and the government with their willing accomplices in the Republican and Democratic parties.
But there is - and should - be a limit to disruptive public discourse.
The parks and public plazas the so-called movement is occupying across the country are public spaces where there are rules imposed for civilized behavior for the common good. One does not have a right to damage public property - which is what you are doing when you camp out on grass for extended periods - trash plazas or defecate and urinate in them at will.
Some have called the Occupy folks the “left’s” version of the Tea Party movement.
There is no comparison when it comes to the two. One follows the rules and the other makes them up as they go.
It’s a succulent point made by Tea Party activists in four cities including Richmond in Virginia.
In Richmond, the Tea Party was required to meet city demands before they could be issued a permit to hold a political event on public grounds. They also were required to cover the tab for portable toilets, liability insurance, police and the emergency personnel and have a defibrillator on site. It cost them $8,000 for their protest plus they had to make sure the park was clean when they were through.
There has been no such requirement for the Occupy Richmond folks who have created a tent city with amenities such as a volleyball net and makeshift library. They have taken over a city park since Oct. 17.
Richmond’s mayor Dwight C. Jones has been quoted as saying because he is a product of the civil rights movement he has allowed Occupy protestors to remain.
In a nutshell, if those who control government agree with your sentiments you can break the law. If they don’t, you have to follow every rule plus pay the piper.
Jones is a Democrat. Just like hardcore Republicans who don’t blame big business for anything, hardcore Democrats can’t bring themselves to believe Big Government has done bad things for America as well.
The double standard is evident with the reaction to the Iraq war veteran apparently injured by a tear gas canister when the Occupy Oakland movement failed to comply to a lawful order to disperse and started throwing bottles and other items at law enforcement officers who then launched a tear gas attack.
While there are a lot of serious issues with the Oakland Police Department, they do not warrant universal commendation for how they handled the situation. As for firing a flash grenade when people rushed to help the fallen protestor, from their perspective in the smoke it probably looked as if they were being rushed.
No one likes to see anyone injured. But there was a lawful order given to disperse and the Occupy folks were assaulting police officers first.
We live in a nation of laws.
Greedy corporate types that don’t follow the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and held liable for civil damages.
The same holds true for protestors who break the law as well as damage public property and force the expenditure of scarce law enforcement resources.
That is why for the 98 percent of America that is caught in the crossfire that the 1 percent taking part physically or actively supporting Occupy efforts aren’t much different when it comes to being law-abiding and responsible citizens than the vilified 1 percent that is at the top of the economic heap.