Real change and hope does not come from holding up a sign
John Chiv/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 11/24/2011 02:28:37 AM PST
Since my only experience has been with the Occupy Eureka protesters, my remarks are directed at them. Under the guise of First Amendment rights and purporting to speak for 99 percent of the people, all you have achieved with your so called protest is make life harder for the working middle class struggling to stay out of poverty, and even worse for the poor.
So you wanted to get attention for your message? Has this been achieved by the “professional activists” that are leading the rest of you for the cause du jour. When you see the same people at all these protests, the credibility of this being the voice of the people wears thin.
Your group has various activists and different groups latching on and riding the 15 minutes of fame. What exactly are you trying to get across as your basic message besides the usual “blame corporations, the man, it's someone else's fault.”
Your trashing of the courthouse lawn will require funds to fix the damage. This money will come at the cost of services and programs for the most needy. And it comes from people working legitimate jobs to pay taxes. But that does not matter to you, does it? You feel entitled to stop people who work and conduct business at the courthouse; you feel entitled to trash public property that also belongs to the rest of us, not just a few of you.
How environmentally friendly are you? The destruction you have done to the lawn and your illegal camping says you don't care.
You can use your First Amendment rights to “protest” by writing letters, making documentaries, voting in elections and using the resources you have to help out someone homeless or needy. That is action that makes a difference -- signs and empty talk does not.
You can send a message to the banks and corporations by using credit unions or shopping local. And that is your choice. In a free country, I have the choice to bank where I want and shop where I want and work at a corporation. Here's a novel concept. Take responsibility for your life situation and ask for any help you need respectfully. You might be surprised that people will reach out and assist.
The message of 99 percent is a very valid one. However don't just single out corporations and banks; if you truly feel for the masses, let's also talk about the greed in government, and all institutions and bureaucracy.
One of your “leaders” took down the flag on Veteran's Day. Those vets fought for your right to speak freely. I have watched how the police calmly speak to you while many of you antagonize them and snub those of us who don't buy into and support your unorganized, ineffectual selfish protest.
If you had been respectful, I would listen to your message.
You want change? Try using the same time you have standing outside the courthouse to volunteer in a soup kitchen, to clean up the parks, to reach out to a mentally ill or homeless person. Change and hope does not come from holding a sign; it comes from one person struggling to stay strong and providing encouragement to another in a difficult economy and a broken system.