The “Occupy” Movement Celebrates A Birthday

For those of you who somehow forgot, today’s a special day:  the first birthday of the “Occupy movement.”

The Occupiers celebrated the big day by staging some protests in lower Manhattan.  About a thousand protesters gathered and tried to block access to the New York Stock Exchange and various office buildings, and about 150 were arrested for disturbing the peace.  The stock market and other capitalistic activities went on undeterred, but one Occupier was enthusiastic about the turnout.  “It is encouraging getting 1,000 people out to do anything,’’ he said.

It’s hard to believe that the “Occupy movement” started only a year ago.  For a time the media and some politicians acted like the “Occupy movement” was going to be the next big wave, and there was a seeming obsession with breathless reporting about how the Zuccotti Park protestors engaged in self-government, used the “human megaphone,” and had drummers pounding away day and night.  It seems like ancient history now, doesn’t it?  What was supposed to be the next big thing now can only command a thousand protestors to commemorate a big day for the “movement” — and you’d be hard pressed to identify anything that was truly accomplished as a result of the urban encampments and drumming.

There may still be “Occupy” activities going on somewhere in Columbus, but if so I haven’t seen or heard of them.  On its first birthday, it seems like there’s not much movement in that “movement.”

An Update On “Occupy Columbus”

Yesterday was a beautiful, spring-like day, so after lunch The Bus-Riding Conservative and I decided to take an extended walk. To our surprise, when we walked past the Ohio Statehouse we learned that “Occupy Columbus” is still there.

To be sure, the tents have moved since I last visited Statehouse Square months ago.  They used to be right in front of the McKinley statue in the middle of the block; now they’ve been repositioned down the block to the south.

The “Occupiers” have a large white party tent, carefully taped to keep out the weather.  On the front is a big sign advertising their website, as well as an ersatz American flag in which the fifty stars have been cleverly replaced with corporate logos like McDonald’s and Chevron.  (Does that mean that corporations are taking the place of the fifty states, or that corporations are the true stars of the country?  The message could be misconstrued.)  I tried to check out the “Occupy Columbus” website shown on the large sign, but when I did Firefox sent me a warning saying that the website connection was untrusted and that I would be proceeding at my peril — so I decided the prudent course was to not satisfy my curiosity.

There were two people sitting behind the tents, enjoying the lovely weather.  Other than that, there seemed to be nobody there, and there was no other activity to be seen.  In short, “Occupy Columbus” is still there, occupying their little patch of Statehouse Square, but that appears to be about it.

Black Friday Showdown: “Occupiers” Versus Shoppers

According to news reports, some “Occupy” protesters are calling for “occupation” of outlets of large, publicly traded retailers — that is, virtually every store found in America — tomorrow.  If it happens, it would set up a monumental clash of the titans on the biggest shopping day of the year:

Ladies and gentlemen:  Welcome to the Black Friday throw down!

In this corner, a ragtag band of “Occupy Wall Street” protesters with a bad case of “bed head.”  They’re scruffy, angry, and utterly convinced of the righteousness of their cause. 

And in this corner, legions of amped-up holiday shoppers.  They’ve been up for hours, they’ve chugged gallons of black coffee, and they’re gunning to get all of their holiday shopping done in one stressful 18-hour period. 

The contest has begun!  The Occupy protesters have blocked the door to the Wal-Mart!  They’re doing their annoying human microphone shtick and trying to explain why large corporations suck.

 But the shoppers aren’t listening!  They’ve formed a flying wedge of shopping carts handled by angry plus-sized women who want to take advantage of the big Black Friday sales!  They’re ramming the Occupy protesters.  Wait just a minute!  Some of the shoppers have fainted from that special “Occupy” odor!  And the “Occupiers” are demanding free stuff from the shoppers!

Ladies and gentlemen, the confrontation has turned into a general melee.  The shoppers are clubbing the Occupy protesters with their heavy purses!  But now a phalanx of “Occupy” drummers has entered the fray!  Their loud, discordant drumming has momentarily stunned the shoppers!  Hold on a moment — the shoppers have regrouped!  They’re slashing at the Occupy protesters with the edges of their credit cards, and the Occupy protesters are giving way . . . .

If the “Occupy” protesters follow through with a Black Friday attempt to occupy stores, I’m betting on the shoppers.

Pepper Spray – Really ?

I suppose I am behind the curve on this since the video supposedly came out on Saturday, but I caught the full video on Headline News this morning. This article contains the full video from start to finish of the University of California Davis – Occupy Movement incident. From what Headline News reported these students were carrying on a peaceful demonstration because the University of California Davis recently announced they plan to increase tuition 16% each of the next four years. I have to admit I was shocked !

I guess what always surprises me about incidents like this one is didn’t the security police/administration do some preliminary planning and run through the different scenarios that might play out when the police confronted the students. Did they expect the students to just get up and leave ? And if the students didn’t leave did they decide that one of the security officers was going to nonchalantly walk in front of the protestors and spray pepper spray directly into the faces ?

If the facts are as reported the students have every right to protest, but a suggestion to school administrators in the future – always expect there to be someone video taping the incident and how it will look. The University of California Davis clearly has egg on it’s face and deservedly so.