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Politics / Business / Economics > What limits, if any, should be placed on the duration/location of occupy protests?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Ok, I know there's a general "occupy" thread here...

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/6...

But this is a slightly different topic. What limits should be placed on occupy (or other, I guess) protesters in terms of how long they can stay somewhere, under what conditions, etc.? Should they be able to stay whenever and wherever they want? Or should there be limits? This question was all over the news today. What do you think?


message 2: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
Obviously they should be allowed to assemble and protest....but when there are safety issues, like people being murdered in the camps, something has to change. Also: the public pooping. Not good. At one of the protest sites, in California I believe, someone had peed and pooped in a bank, and a TV reporter was going around asking the protesters, "Who peed and pooped? Who peed and pooped?"

I worry that the bad PR associated with murders and shitting is going to harm what started out as a good cause, finding remedies for wealth inequality. We still need to find those remedies. So basically the answer to your question is: I have no idea.


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael ^ What she said.

At the Occupy protest here in Minneapolis they just imposed new restrictions this week that prohibit people from sleeping outside and limit what they can do as far as putting up signs/banners. They also removed all the portable toilets. I can't see the protest continuing here once the snow falls.


message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I wonder if there is any way for them to use the attention they have gotten or make a graceful exit at this point. I would love to see them turn it into something with a positive outcome. All disappear one day, leaving the parks spotless and a warning of "see you in the spring if the manifesto is not addressed legislatively in the next session."


message 5: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments Michael wrote: "^ What she said.

At the Occupy protest here in Minneapolis they just imposed new restrictions this week that prohibit people from sleeping outside and limit what they can do as far as putting up..."


It will continue. That's what it does. It's not called "occupy only when convenient," is it?

Those measures being taken mean there is some impact being felt. Good. Every time the "authorities" clean out a camp, the campers gain new support. Especially when the assholes doing the cleaning are destroying property and hitting people with batons.


message 6: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments Sarah Pi wrote: "I wonder if there is any way for them to use the attention they have gotten or make a graceful exit at this point. I would love to see them turn it into something with a positive outcome. All disa..."

Why make an exit just when they're starting to succeed? Making people uncomfortable is what it's all about, and recent raids make it look like a rousing success.


message 7: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Those measures being taken mean there is some impact being felt. Good. Every time the "authorities" clean out a camp, the campers gain new support.

I don't know that I agree with this across the board. I think some in the population are in the "you made your point, go home, losers" camp (uh, no pun intended).


message 8: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments I never said or meant to imply that everyone supports them, just that, following police actions, more people than before show support for them in a visible and meaningful fashion.


message 9: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Do you really think so? Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but I've not seen any of that.


message 10: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I was thinking about this a little more. Do you think most people have already made up their mind about the protesters? In other words, maybe police action consolidates, if you will, support from people who already supported the protesters and criticism from those who already didn't like the protesters.


message 11: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments I think that last bit is more likely what is happening.

I support what they are doing, but have not yet been an active participant (the group in my town is about ten people). If there were police action against them, I would be more likely to support them in a more meaningful way.


message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael Sarah Pi wrote: "I wonder if there is any way for them to use the attention they have gotten or make a graceful exit at this point. I would love to see them turn it into something with a positive outcome. All disappear one day, leaving the parks spotless and a warning of "see you in the spring if the manifesto is not addressed legislatively in the next session."
"


I don't think an exit should be on the agenda, but that's easy for me to say as a lazy 99%er who doesn't help occupy anything. But I do think a leader and an official agenda should be on the agenda. This happened here and I think it's one of the only real positive things I've heard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scW8oB...


message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael RandomAnthony wrote: "I was thinking about this a little more. Do you think most people have already made up their mind about the protesters? In other words, maybe police action consolidates, if you will, support from..."

I suppose that's possible, but people I work with had their minds made up that they were against the movement on day one and I think that might be the case with most people.


message 14: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I support what they are trying to do, but I'm really not sure it's the best method. With nobody allowed to speak for the group, they're making it hard for even the governments that want to be supportive to figure out who to talk to or how to help. If a local government says "OK, we'll sit down with you, what would you like to talk about, what can we change?" I would consider that a success for the local Occupy movement, but I'm not sure they could capitalize on it.


message 15: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments What, specifically, are their demands? And are their demands, whatever they are, likely be recognized, much less met, by the nebulous powers on Wall Street? I'm really unclear about their objectives.

As long as stockholders go along with huge bonuses and exorbitant salaries, there's nothing any outsider can do.

The only way to limit the power of the monied class is to reform campaign laws and do away with lobbies. Fat chance.


message 16: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Why do there have to be demands? Why can't it just be a demonstration against the inequality of things these days? Drawing attention to the widening disparity of incomes?


message 17: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments Yes. What Felix said.


message 18: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
Is OWS's one demand, that inequality be reduced, any more amorphous or ill-defined than the Tea Party's one demand, that government be reduced?


message 19: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments Félix wrote: "Why do there have to be demands? Why can't it just be a demonstration against the inequality of things these days? Drawing attention to the widening disparity of incomes?"

Well, that's a mamby-pamby waste of time, then. Why waste time demonstrating if you can't even identify your opponent?


message 20: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Sometimes I really can't figure out how you think, Scout. I mean no offense by that.


message 21: by Cam (last edited Nov 18, 2011 10:41AM) (new)

Cam | 111 comments Scout wrote: "What, specifically, are their demands? And are their demands, whatever they are, likely be recognized, much less met, by the nebulous powers on Wall Street? I'm really unclear about their objecti..."

Your comments make a lot of sense. Seems like the people with the most money have the most power. It irks me when executive heads of McDonalds and Walmart likely make millions of dollars while paying their employees minimum wage.


message 22: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Félix wrote: "Sometimes I really can't figure out how you think, Scout. I mean no offense by that."

I have a difficult time figuring her out also.


message 23: by ~Geektastic~ (new)

 ~Geektastic~ (atroskity) | 3207 comments So if Clark is the resident curmudgeon, does this make Scout the resident conundrum?


message 24: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
Could very well be.


message 25: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
The thing about "they have no demands! Their demands are too amorphous! What do they want??" is that it sounds like a talking point. Maybe a right wing talking point, maybe just a middle of the road talking point. I've heard it from people who are liberal much of the time. But it sounds like something a person heard somewhere rather than deduced on their own. Because honestly, if you listened to zero news or discussion of anything, and suddenly learned about OWS, would that be your primary complaint about them? They are the 99%. They're protesting against the 1%. Why does it need to be more complicated than that? That's their message.


message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael To start, it doesn't. It's just enough to show up and be out there. But I think if they hope for the occupation to have real meaning then they need to do more than just identify a crisis, someone needs to tell us what the plan is to fix it and how we get the system to work for everyone. Without that, eventually the whole Occupy movement is going to look like a pre-Grateful Dead concert party at best and an "I hate the mean police" gathering at worst.


message 27: by Scout (last edited Nov 19, 2011 10:41PM) (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments Michael gets what I'm talking about.

I've been thinking about this, and I think there are different ideas about what it means to demonstrate.

Back in the '70s, people - mostly college kids - demonstrated against the Vietnam war. The demonstrations were targeted at the President and Congress - the people who had the power to change things - and the message was "End this war." And the war was ended.

This Wall Street thing has no teeth. When you demostrate just to get attention, that's all you get -attention - and that gets you nowhere.

To make a change, you have to have a message you won't back down from. Then you have to identify the guy or guys who have the power to change policy, and you have to put pressure on them. Otherwise, you're wasting your time, which is what OWS is doing.


message 28: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Agreed. Silly.


message 29: by Scout (last edited Nov 22, 2011 07:29PM) (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments I don't understand the "talking point" thing. Guess I'm missing something.

I didn't say the OWS people are doing something wrong. A lot of us are pissed off that a few people hold most of the wealth in this country, and most of us are struggling. I just think the demonstrators want results, and they don't have a plan for getting results. They haven't even identified the people who could make the changes they want. If they ever do, then they'll have a focus for their protests, like the Vietnam protesters did.

I could make a sign saying "I'm the 99%" and parade in front of the investment consultants' offices in my town. Same result as on Wall Street. They'll laugh and go about their business.


message 30: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments Thanks for that explanation, Bun. I understand now.

I just think people who are protesting with valid grievances are wasting their time unless they make someone in power sweat, and I don't see anyone sweating. I think it's very difficult these days to identify the bad guys, and that's no accident. What do you think about that?

OWS demonstrators are milling around and camping out and getting pepper-sprayed. To what end? This is not like any other protest movement I've seen. It seems ineffective and futile.


message 31: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
Making people in power sweat is something that is several steps removed from what the protesters are doing. Bun mentioned framing the debate, which is critical to any issue. The protesters are having an effect on the debate about inequality. They're affecting public opinion. The people in power are hugely in the thrall of public opinion. If OWS can get the wide masses to be thinking about inequality, and telling pollsters that it's an important issue, they've already achieved something big.


message 32: by Barb (new)

Barb Aside from the debate on how effective the prostests are; I think it's better to go down kicking and screaming than to just lay down and take it. Standing back and saying "there's nothing I can do" only insures that nothing is ever done.


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I do think they are having some success with making people in power sweat, but mostly on the level of local government.


message 34: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments It has to start somewhere Sarah!


message 35: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments The start of what? Would those of you who understand and support the Wall Streeters tell me where you see this going? If they're a few steps removed from making people sweat, then what do you envision happening a few months from now? I'm not unsympathetic. I, a goal-oriented person, just want to see what you see and find some point in what they're doing.


message 36: by Cyril (new)

Cyril I'm not really an Occupy type of guy, but I am more sympathetic after reading this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/opi...

Yes, Occupy Wall Street was dreamed up in part by flakes and populated in part by fantasists. But to the extent that the movement briefly captured the public’s imagination, it was because it seemed to be doing what a decent left would exist to do: criticizing entrenched power, championing the common good and speaking for the many rather than the few.

Whatever your politics, there’s arguably more to admire in the ragtag theatricality of Occupy Wall Street than in that sort of self-righteous defense of the status quo. Even if it has failed to embrace plausible solutions, O.W.S. at least picked a deserving target — what National Review’s Reihan Salam describes as the “moral rupture” created by Wall Street’s and Washington’s betrayal of the public trust.


message 37: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments OWS's target is "the 'moral rupture' created by Wall Street's and Washington's betrayal of the public trust."

Finally, a target.


message 38: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments Protesting against "moral rupture" seems futile to me. A protest has to be aimed at the people who can change things. We're all aware of the gap between the very rich and the rest of us. We don't need OWS to tell us about it or speak for us. The fact that no one knows who can help us speaks to the insidious nature of the political system. I think that if Americans knew exactly where to focus their anger, there would be a revolution.


message 39: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I'm confused again, Scout. We're all aware of the gap, but we don't know where to focus our anger? Nobody knows who can help us, but we don't need OWS to speak for us? It seems to me like that's exactly what's happening, and that's exactly what we need.


message 40: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments So where exactly should we focus our anger? What group? Which people?


message 41: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments Interesting that no one has the answer to those questions. OWS doesn't seem to, either.


message 42: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
You do know what the WS in OWS stands for, right?


message 43: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments Yep. But demonstrations on campuses and attempting to close down ports?


message 44: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments OK. You don't want to say where we should focus our anger. I don't think you know, or you would have answered the question. You said, "Their purpose is to raise public awareness about the growth of this gap and stimulate public discussion and debate about what is happening, why it is happening, and what can be done about it." I don't see any of this happening. Do you? If so, give examples. Seems to me they're milling around on campuses and at ports and making no point. I'll join the cause if you give me a solid reason to.


message 45: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments You're talking about it, right?

Your awareness has been raised, and now you're curious. Seems to me they're having some impact then.


message 46: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Scout wrote: "OK. You don't want to say where we should focus our anger. I don't think you know, or you would have answered the question. "

Really? This is what you do to keep a discussion going?


message 47: by Cam (new)

Cam | 111 comments Scout wrote: "Protesting against "moral rupture" seems futile to me. A protest has to be aimed at the people who can change things. We're all aware of the gap between the very rich and the rest of us. We don'..."

Scary thoughts, but well stated.


message 48: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
Scout wrote: "I'll join the cause if you give me a solid reason to. "

If you really can't come up with any reasons, on your own, to support the idea of political action that will reduce America's massive wealth and income inequality, there's nothing anyone can do here to help you change your mind. Further, I don't believe for a second that you would "join the cause" of Occupy, if that involved joining a protest, marching with protesters, making a sign and holding it up, etc. Your attitude toward Occupy is less than lukewarm. Why would you suddenly become passionate enough to join a march? You wouldn't.

How about this. Here's something incredibly easy you can do, right now. The Democrats are thinking about dropping the millionaire tax from their negotiations over the 2012 payroll tax cut. The millionaire tax would offset the payroll tax cut for the working poor and middle class. Call your two Senators and your Congressional representative and tell them you support the millionaire tax. You are opposed to dropping it from the negotiations. Call the White House. The numbers there are:

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Or email the President:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/sub...


message 49: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Great choice in my opinion.


message 50: by Scout (last edited Dec 23, 2011 11:57PM) (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3385 comments BunWat said: "Seems to me you think the purpose of political action is to look for someone to blame for your problems and then make a big fuss until that person or group of people gives you something. This doesn't seem like political action to me."

Bun, I've seen three successful movements in my life: one for Civil Rights, one for Women's Rights, and one for ending the Vietnam War. All three made a big fuss until the controlling group gave in. I call this political action at its best and most effective.

The Women’s Liberation Movement brought together thousands of activists who worked for women’s rights. These are a few significant feminist protests that took place in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s.

1. Miss America Protest, September 1968
New York Radical Women organized a demonstration at the 1968 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. The feminists objected to the commercialization and racism of the pageant, in addition to the way it judged women on "ludicrous standards of beauty."

2. New York Abortion Speakout, March 1969
The radical feminist group Redstockings organized an "abortion speakout" in New York City where women could talk about their experiences with then-illegal abortions. The feminists wanted to respond to government hearings where previously only men had spoken about abortion. After this event, speakouts spread across the nation; Roe v. Wade struck down many restrictions on abortion four years later in 1973.

3. Standing Up for the ERA in the Senate, February 1970
Members of the National Organization for Women (NOW) disrupted a U.S. Senate hearing about the proposed amendment to the Constituion to change the voting age to 18. The women stood and displayed posters they had brought, calling for the Senate’s attention to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) instead.

4. Ladies' Home Journal Sit-In, March 1970
Many feminist groups believed that women's magazines, usually run by men, were a commercial enterprise that perpetuated the myth of the happy homemaker and the desire to consume more beauty products. On March 18, 1970, a coalition of feminists from various activist groups marched into the Ladies’ Home Journal building and took over the editor’s office until he agreed to let them produce a portion of an upcoming issue.

And then there's OWS.


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