Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Occupy Portland - Quit whining, Occupiers! Move on!

Uh-oh.  This could get embarrassing.

The Occupy Portland folks had a little press conference outside City Hall this morning.  Spokesperson Alaina Melville read an "open letter" to Mayor Adams.  Some choice quotes:
[Protesters] were greeted by hundreds of militarized riot police armed with tasers, stun batons, beanbag weapons, tear gas pepper spray and live ammunition. This was shocking to many of us who did not expect you to respond to unarmed, peaceful and joyful protest with potentially deadly force.

You told us on the first day of our protest that you were sympathetic to the goals of our movement and wanted to help find a solution that works for everybody.  The behavior over the weekend of police officers under your command has clearly indicated otherwise. Yours is the latest in a string of aggressive, dangerous crackdowns by city and state governments across the nation attempting to silence the Occupy movement.  --Occupy Portland, via spokesperson
Oh, brother. 

Occupiers, can I give you a little advice?  You know?  As a friend of the movement?
  1. I saw what happened on Saturday night.  Yes, the police were in riot gear.  What of it?  No rubber bullets were fired.  No tear gas was dispersed.  I've said it before, but I'll repeat it now:  Portland Police (including Mayor Adams and Chief Reese) handled the demonstration very well.  If you start crying every time somebody trips on the pavement, or gets put in handcuffs, or gets his feelings hurt, you're going to lose public sympathy in very short order.
  2. Why, Occupiers, are you wasting your energy bitching at Sam Adams?  Even if you think he handled the situation badly, neither he nor the police nor the City are responsible for the current sorry state of our nation.  Go after the villains, not their butlers.
Public attention is heady stuff, so I can forgive being wistful at the thought that the spotlight might be moving on. But, if you're really concerned with effecting change, I'd advise that you lay off the manufactured drama and focus your energies on making life uncomfortable for the big banks, the insurance companies, the resource extraction industry.

You know? That other 1%?


Rickcritt said...

I must respectfully disagree, Dade. This letter was in reaction to what happened on Sunday. I was there. The police moved in while around 25 occupiers where discussing where to go and cleaning up. The police showed up and started pushing people out of the park. Some where pushed against immovable objects and beaten with batons. Others where beaten while trying to help people who had fallen and in danger of being trampled.

Regarding the police in riot gear. The militarization of police in appearance and tactic is provocative. I have worked with Donna Miller who has worked all over the US training the police on conflict resolution and the escalation of conflict is directly linked to appearances and atitude.

The police responce on Sunday was completely unnecessary as the movement had accepted the need to move.

Kevin James said...

I just have to say...going after the big banks, insurance companies, resource extraction industry or any corporate entity is wasted effort IMHO.  I really believe this movement needs to focus its efforts on removing corporate money from the political decision making process. Remove corporate money from campaigns and from it from Washington.  Good, sound decisions and truly responsible actions are only going to occur in the absence of "the payoff".  Seems many of the occupiers are lacking focus, a cause to rally to.  Attacking companies or individuals that make "too much money" risks including those who truly have worked hard and sacrificed to build their businesses with integrity, even giving back generously in time and money.  Besides, money is not the problem.  The problem is the power.  The problem is corporations having too much influence over the laws, laws which grant them powers to do far worse than make "too much money".

My 2 cents...