Why Doesn’t the “Occupy” Movement Go Home?

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A few months ago, in September, the “Occupy” movement started well by building its credibility, asking challenging questions, attracting media attention, inspiring blog posts, encouraging people to express their opinion. The discussions were on. The media coverage was favorable on some channels, and not so favorable on others. But all was peaceful. All was civil.

Two months later the movement’s credibility is not high anymore. In fact, the movement itself is becoming violent, unsanitary and down plain criminal. I am in the 99% the “Occupy” movement claims to represent. But I don’t support it anymore. In fact, it hit close to home and challenged everything I liked about this movement.

The following are the reasons why I want the “Occupy“ movement to go home:

  • “Occupy” Salt Lake City occupies a small downtown park. Everything was good (more or less) until a death from a drug overdose and carbon monoxide poisoning from a personal space heater happened last Thursday night. That’s when the discoveries of such things as human excrement in tents, urination in public places and drug paraphernalia started to come out to the light. The park itself is infamous for crimes, drugs, and homeless people. Promoting law-breaking and filth in the place that is already notorious for its criminal and homeless elements, is not helping neither Salt Lake City nor the 99% the movement claims to represent.
  • Violent clashes in Oakland do not contribute anything to meaningful discussions that the “Occupy” movement started a few moths ago. What the movement seems to promote right now is violence and riots. Remember riots in England not that long ago? Maybe I am exaggerating but I am seeing quite a close resemblance of those riots when I see protestors in Oakland setting fire to stores and throwing concrete blocks at the police.
  • Increasing number of clashes between police and the protesters all over the country transforms the movement from peaceful and passionate into violent and criminal. The real political ambition of the movement becomes lost in human waste and outbursts of violence. Why not to go on-line and organize the movement into something politically powerful? Tent cities in parks filled with drugs, human excrement and confrontations with the police do not represent 99% of us.

The “Occupy” movement does not inspire me anymore to discuss the wealth disparity in the United States, corporate greed, or that our political system is being engineered to support rich and corporations. Instead, the “Occupy” movement instigates me to ask those people:

“Please, fold up your tents, clean up your sh&*t, and go home. And, please, do something useful for this country. Get real with your political ambition, would you?”

Comments (29)

  • Yeah, the Occupy Atlanta movement is starting to get pretty ugly too. I think until there is a specific ‘demand’ they should just pack it up.

  • I agree – the credibility that the movement had is pretty much over. Now that the smoke is clearing, we’re hearing bad stories about the Oakland and Portland encampments, and other encampments. Even the most well organized protest – Occupy Wall street – may have been suppressing reports of sexual assaults on women in the park.

    No good for credibility, and no good for the safety of the participants in the protest.

    • Exactly! I don’t think there will be any credibility left. I give them a few more days, maybe weeks and they will be done for good unless they step up and organize themselves. Why not to go on-line, for example?

  • As usual, some folks ruin it for everyone else. In anything like this, there are going to be people who do drugs, and create gross living conditions. I’m guessing the majority of people who wanted to protest didn’t decide to turn their sleeping areas into toilets.

    I do think that a lot of the people involved in the protest are there for the sake of protesting *something* and are probably enjoying the experience and comraderie. That isn’t what this should be about though – it should be about having a clear message, and standing up for that. The fact that we STILL don’t know what they are “demanding” is the biggest credibility-ruiner of all.

    • I agree. Their slogan “We are 99%” does represent any demands. If you take a close look at this movement, it is really unclear what do they really want? I wonder if there is any unified goal for this movement? Who knows…

  • Sound familiar. But not from the UK now – we don’t have an ‘occupy’ movement in Manchester, we just had riots and vandalism in the Summer. This happens to almost every movement – it starts with the enthusiasm and idealism that novelty brings and ends with annoyance and disappointment. I believe that the problem is that traditional forms of protest are powerless at the moment.

    • I agree with you. However, protests can become something organized. The Tea Party, for example: started on the streets and ended up in Congress. Even though I absolutely despise them, I still give them credit to be able to organize their movement into the party.

  • I’ll admit that I’ve been disappointed by what I’ve seen. I think it’s great that a group of people are willing to protest to have their voices heard, but it’s sad when these protests turn violent. There’s likely a large number of people in the group that disagree with the violence. But all people will see are the few that chose to be disruptive.

    • Violence should be stopped. And the movement should get organized. Somehow the movement is losing its momentum. It is becoming chaotic and violent.

  • This is new trend, social network facilitated movements. You can write one of the first books of these phenomena and make a couple million dollars.

  • My biggest problem with any protest, is “all it does is contribute to social unrest”. This reminds of the 1989 TIanmen fight, where the Westerners were all saying that China used violent means to end the strike. But the thing is, they were forced to! I mean, the Tianmen thing was causing massive social unrest. Social unrest in China would lead to civil war, which would lead to hundreds of millions of deaths.

    • You cannot compare China to the US. China is a communist country where government controls everything. They don’t have freedom of speech. At all. In the US we enjoy a lot of freedom. It is just that some movements don’t seize the right moment and lose control over their mission. It is sad because this movement had potential and started quite well.

  • They have definitely worn out any credibility that they started off with.

  • I didn’t even know they are still going. Now it is just a bunch of homeless people camping in the city.

    • Actually I have not heard about them since last weekend. But I am sure that they are still around. Just more peaceful, I guess.

  • The Occupy movement is fizzling out big time. The squandered the momentum and was unable to seize the opportunity. I’ll write an update on Occupy Portland this evening.

    • I am looking forward to read it. As far as I know, Portland arrests were following Salt Lake City arrests. I would like to get updated.

  • I do not agree with the statement they should go home. I can’t imagine what America would be like if the people fighting for equal rights between the races simply went home because the media is portraying them as hostile.

  • You’re brave to write this post … this is such a politically charged topic that I’m not going near it.

  • What is that saying? Leave on top? People were talking. People were getting more aware. Momentum was building. However, now that the negatives are clearly outweighing the positives, it’s time to close up shop or regroup. Problem is there is no real leadership and no real demand!

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  • The reason some of these people are still out there with the Occupy encampments / protests is because they feel powerless, invisible, and voiceless.

    It is clear that the middle class in America has taken a huge hit in the last 20 years, whle the rich have gotten richer. The whole system is rigged to benefit those at the top. More funding for corporate bailouts. Less funding for public education, health, safety, welfare. Less revenue due to corporate tax loopholes, reducing the taxes on capital gains (profits from sale of stocks), and reducing or eliminating estate taxes, AKA death taxes.
    And the solution proposed by Ayn Rand followers is to eliminate the entire social safety net.

    Many of the protesters feel powerless and hopeless. By camping out in a visible space, they are trying to focus public attention on the problem of economic inequality in America.
    This movement is a real grass-roots movement, open to all who wish to participate.
    That means that some of the people come in may cause trouble, but that doesn’t mean that these few troublemakers represent the entire movement.

    Occupy Wall Street had committees set up to organize the encampment and make it as safe as possible… food stations, supply stations, first aid stations, etc. run by the people in the encampment. It reminds me of the migrant worker camps in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.

    This is real democracy.


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