Kenny1948's Blogosphere

-----it all began here


Florida, USA
June 01
I don't believe in them!
Any that I choose to keep!
Well, I'm back. Hopefully I won't rant as much but Politics, Gay Rights and the Environment are still very much on my mind. I'm still fighting those evil Lawn Nazis', and I have all but given up on the intelligence of the average American. I plan to still express my opinions here on Open Salon. Hopefully someone will listen!


OCTOBER 27, 2011 1:32PM

Occupy Wall Street?

Rate: 1 Flag

we are 99%

So far I have resisted writing anything about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Other than a few pro or con comments, that I have posted on other peoples posts.

I really wanted to see, what was to become of this movement, before I commented. However, with the happenings in Oakland, I feel a bit compelled to chime in.

I truly believe this is a good thing ( OWS that is ). That aside. A demonstration is a demonstration. Camping out for weeks, in a public place is simply behaving badly. If these were the homeless demonstrating their plight to the country, I could understand. However as I see it, most of these people do have homes to go to.

camp out

When I took part in demonstrations against the Viet Nam war, we were often met with billy clubs, and tear gas. Even though we had a right to protest. Even though, we went home after the demonstrations!

Now in the case of OWS, these people are camping out. I can understand this, as it is called “Occupy Wall Street”, but for many it is simply ( to use an ancient term ) a “happening”, or a flash mob as they would call it today. In some of these cases, the people were told to remove themselves from a park or square where it is not legal for ANYONE, to camp out. So in these cases, I simply can't support the Occupiers. On the other hand, when the police simply charge a group, for no reason other than to disrupt and hurt people, there I side with the protesters.

You can still “Occupy” a place without camping out there. You simply show up at a certain time, voice your concerns, protest whatever. Then you pack up and go home, having proven your point. You do it in a way, that gives them no excuse to use violence. When you blatently disobey orders to disperse, you are in fact inciting violence. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it's necessary to show some sign of unrestraint. Sometimes it's necessary to stand ones ground, to prove a point. Camping out for weeks, is not one!

Here in Tampa for example. Gaslight park, which is privately owned. Is often a place where protests take place. It is however, private property. In the case of Tampa, the protesters were told to simply move their encampment to a public park a few blocks away. The protesters cooperated, and there was no violence. Of course, in Tampa a very conservative city. There were not that many Occupy people, so they knew they were outnumbered.

In another year, Tampa will be host to the Republican Convention. I expect at that time, there will be a lot more protesters, or at least I hope so. Then it could get ugly and I would fully support the protesters. I remember when Dubya would come to Tampa to hold his little pep-rallies at RayJames Stadium, you couldn't get within blocks of the place, unless you were a supporter. You were arrested on the spot. ( I know because I worked at the stadium at the time, and I couldn't get in to do my job! )

 When the police behave in this way, I feel it is perfectly right to disobey them! I hope next year, people refuse to obey them, when they are told they cannot protest within a mile of the convention center. I know they are already planning this. The First Amendment, gives us the right to "assemble, and protest peacefully".   It does not give us the right to camp out wherever we like.   Why give fuel to those who would put down this movement?  The right wing is already using this, to call them a bunch of hoodlums and bums.  This just gives them reason to point out how " the tea party, protests then cleans up before they leave".   If we want people to pay attention to us, we need to let them know what we think.  We do not however need to trash the place in the process.  Maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon, but I have made myself heard on more than one occasion.  I also am old enough to know what works, and what doesn't.

I also can't help but remember a bumper sticker I once had on my old VW Bug!

Eat the RichI'm glad to see, it's still around!


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Well…since it seems the cops are going to be portrayed as goons no matter how restrained they try to be…my guess is the cops will begin to act like goons. There certainly are goons in their midst…and those rotten apples will prod the others in the direction of escalating enforcement tactics.

Protestors just do not give the ones who want to be restrained any choice.

Even you, in this very moderate, well-intentioned commentary mentioned:

When the police behave in this way, I feel it is perfectly right to disobey them! I hope next year, people refuse to obey them, when they are told they cannot protest within a mile of the convention center.

If a police unit has been ordered to disburse a crowd or to enforce a no-protest zone…they are going to disburse the crowd and enforce the no-protest zone. They are not going to listen to arguments about constitutional rights…which should not be raised with them in any case. That is what the courts are for.

Anyone who decides, as you advised, to simply disobey, is going to be handled roughly—and deservedly so. The police, when disbursing a crowd or enforcing a no-protest zone, cannot stand around reasoning with people who are disobeying legal orders to disburse or leave an area. The police HAVE AN OBLIGATION to enforce the disbursement with as much force as is required…and obviously the amount of force necessary increases when people refuse to obey.

The police are not the enemy.

Kenny, we have gone insane!

Nothing good will come of this.

The powerful will come out of any confrontations much more powerful.
@Frank Apisa
Since you have indicated that you don't' think that democracy is possible why would anyone with even a modicum of intelligence listen to you.
Anthony wrote:

@Frank Apisa
Since you have indicated that you don't' think that democracy is possible why would anyone with even a modicum of intelligence listen to you.

I don't know...but you sound as though you have a modicum of intelligence, so why did you listen to me?

By the way, I may be wrong about you having a modicum of intelligence, because anyone with a modicum of intelligence would not have interpreted what I wrote as saying that I do not think democracy is possible…so that may be the reason you listened to me.

Kenny, my comments were serious and respectful. I hope you take them that way despite the Anthony Duval diversion.
@Frank Apisa
I guess it was a different Frank Apisa who wrote this
Learn to read, Anthony. Read with comprehension.

Find anything in there that says I "don't think democracy is possible."
democracy is not protest, it is formal management of the state at the direction of the majority of citizens.

protest is rebellion against the state, which in this case is an elective oligarchy, a very different creature than democracy. protest without violence is possible, but unlikely to be effective. it would need vast numbers and should need vast numbers, half the electorate, plus 1. otherwise it is an assault on the majority and consequently an assault on legitimacy.

but if you can put big crowds on the street, why can't you put big numbers at the voting booth? as long as formal non-violent means of affecting the management of the state are available, refusing to use them seems foolish.

and that's why i am not a supporter of 'occupy.' if you want to be a citizen of a democracy, you must act like a citizen.

america is not a democracy, and i argue that the first goal of american people should be getting citizen initiative, so that they can be citizens instead of protesters.
@Frank Apisa
You are so correct I have misquoted your post you never said democracy isn’t possible you said it doesn’t work. That manages to be a distinction without a difference from my perspective. To me there is not much difference between democracy being impossible and democracy not working, your mileage may vary.
The distinction between protesting and using a space as alternate housing is a valuable one.
Frank, yes I understand your comment and don't take it personally.
what I referred to, was next years Republican Convention in Tampa. From previous experience, I simply know they are not going to let anyone with a protest sign within blocks of the convention center. I think this is unfair. That's all. On the whole, the cops here, are fairly unconfrontational. It is the people giving them the orders, that I have my gripe with.

Anthony, let's not make my comments section, a free for all. I understand your disagreement but if you feel you have to "duke it out" do so somewhere else. I don't delete comments, not do I close my comments. So please respect that fact.

Gordon, thanks!
Oops, Al! Didn't meant to forget you.

I do wish, we had a populace that got out and voted, each and every one. Perhaps a protest now and then, will wake them up. I don't forsee us ever becoming a democracy. ( surprise folks, no we are not! )
Frank ABisa, oops, APisa maybe you can be excused for confusing the explosive b for p. So many on NPR do, it's hard to tell if they are confusing disburse (to spend your allotment) for disperse (just throw it out any old way). But it sure shows up in print. Especially when you repeat it in its various forms many times in just a few paragraph.