This morning I walked over to the Statehouse to check out the “Occupy” protest, Columbus version. It’s changed a little since my first visit. Big doings were planned today for the Occupy Wall Street folks in NYC, so I thought the Columbus chapter might also be kicking into gear. That turned out not to be the case.
As the photo I took indicates, the Columbus encampment is small and shabby — a few tents, a few wooden pallets, a cooler or two, a few garbage cans, and some stray signage fastened to steel fencing on the sidewalk in front of the Ohio Statehouse. At least one of the tents was occupied, but no one was out chanting or doing anything else. It was cold, so maybe the Occupy protesters decided that tapping on their laptop keyboards inside the tents was the smarter course. The people waiting at the nearby bus stop, who far outnumbered anybody huddled in the tents, were trying to stay warm in a brisk wind and weren’t paying much attention to the Occupy folks, anyway.
The whole point of the Occupy protests still seems pretty obscure to me. The signage at the Columbus camp didn’t provide much clarification, either. Here were the signs that were visible this morning: “The finest democracy money can buy,” “Monopolies kill off competition,” “Kill your TV and Do Your Research,” “Integrate the Federal Reserve,” and “Commercialized Culture TV, Radio, Music, Art, Religion.” Is there a common, articulable theme in those signs, other than reflexive opposition to whatever might attract their attention?