Shit's getting entirely too real out there.
Awesome work today, Denis. Thank you so much. I was following your and Sarah's twitter accounts and blog posts to keep up with what was happening while out here on the coast. You provided great coverage--definitely earned your keep today.
Somehow I doubt the protesters are the ones prepared to deal with an escalated situation.
(And yes, excellent work Denis and Sarah)
Doesn't today also illistrate how 'occupy' is stepping up its actions by stopping banking business?
Does this explain the police actions?
Sunday morning, about 7 AM I was talking with a bunch of cops watching the clean-up. One said, "they don't know about reinforcements. We work in shifts - they can't sustain."

You think a drum circle is annoying? Guess what buddy, you don't understand the impact of PSU's Thanksgiving Break. Tomorrow PPB is the identified enemy - not Wall Street.
Well, that's helpful pal.
I'm sure you gonna do alot of change for the 99% fighting cops.
A lot more than you'll ever do by mocking the Occupy movement and cheerleading for the rich.

Why do you take the side of people who will never be on YOUR side?

If you weren't born rich, you'll never be rich. Face it, frankie, you're out in the cold like the rest of us are.\

Stop enabling your economic abusers.
What's going on is police intimidation, and it's working-- I for one skipped today's action because I'm a full-time mom and nursing an infant. I'm not willing to risk my kids getting pepper-sprayed, though I'm awed by the moms & dads who are, and even if I could find someone to watch them while I protest I don't have enough breastmilk stockpiled to risk arrest and lengthy separation from my baby, nor could my family afford continuing care for them during even a day in holding. Shame, shame, shame on the PPD.
@AlaskanNow - That's bullshit. 80% of millionaires in the US inherited NO money from their families. You get ahead by working hard. I'd cite my source, if I thought it had any chance of interrupting your persecution fantasy.
I weep for humanity. Why does it always come to this? We can all be better.
@Reymont - 92.765% of statistics on the Internet without citations are pulled out of the ass of trolls who have no clue of what they are talking about. I cite your comment as my source.
That's easy to say, but still - your freedom to swing your fist stops at my face, and your freedom to occupy a bank stops at my wallet. The occupiers are fueled by lies about the state of the economy, about what happened in 2007 and 2008 and, what's worse, the causes and potential fixes for the three-decade-long drop in economic equality in the USA.

It's hard work to be an economist, a lawyer or an accountant. But it's easy to grab some numbers off a web site, force the police into a situation where they must dress up in armor and use weapons against "peaceful protesters", then *bombard* the social media airwaves with pictures of octogenarians getting pepper-sprayed. It's hard to win elected office, but it's easy to shout down a Mayor who's been damn good for this city in a time of economic challenges.

This city was *working* - we were slowly digging our way out of an economic hole. Small tech businesses are flourishing in incubators and getting funded. Mayor Adams played a key role in that. I've met him numerous times. Portland has one of the best public transit systems in the world. It is one of the best cities in the world for pedestrians and cyclists. Beautiful parks, a 24x7 classical radio station, great food and beer - you know the story.

I am now afraid to go downtown. The random "peaceful, nonviolent" motions of large crowds disrupts traffic, over a month of camping trashed two beautiful parks and our world-class transit system can be disrupted by people exercising their Constitutional right to peaceably assemble and speak. I don't feel safe downtown. What did Portland do to deserve this invasive meme?
I think the occupy movement is totally losing its focus. Guess what - anyone ever looks at how much cops get paid? They are part of the 99%. The people on the MAX stuck downtown - 99%. The bank teller worried about the mob outside. Yep - 99%. The movement better get focused on real issues because I am pretty sure the most pressing issues in this country are not the "rights" to camp in any park and walk in the middle of the street whenever you want.
Looks like the situation spiraled around the choice to occupy Chase. That's illegal, and therefore cops switch from peacekeeping to arresting. It looks like the rest of the officers are trained to close ranks and put a barrier between those being arrested and the bulk of the protesters. So they pushed their way in, and it got ugly.
Thank you Portland Mercury. I asked one officer today about the use of force, specifically the batons. ...Nearly every one of these protestors would simply hold out their wrists for cuffs if you wanted to arrest them, why do you use batons and force?

His response, "You guys want to be arrested and we are NOT going to accommodate you."

My response, "Wait - so you are beating us with batons because we are NOT resisting arrest?!"

There was no response.

I spoke with another officer, who told me that such police behavior should be reported to 503-823-3333, which is the Citizen's Review Board (if I recall correctly, that is the name).
This is a great article and account of what happened on SW Yamhill and 6th. Today was a great day for the Occupy movement in Portland. Nonviolent protest and civil disobedience seemed natural for those involved. Those who stepped out of line were called on it. The police should not have showed up in riot gear. Presenting a show of violence at a nonviolent protest was idiotic. Imagine if they would have pepper sprayed and clubbed some teamsters or longshoremen? Under the right circumstances it could have turned very ugly. After the police attacked the protestors and the protestors weren't fighting back the police left the scene entirely. Then traffic started flowing again and everything was fine and festive. The way this ended today was tragic for those injured but overall a victory for the Occupy movement. Through their actions police departments and Mayors across the country have proved to be a great catalyst for the Occupy movement.
Judging by TV news, I'd still say the Police still own the narrative.
Video from inside the bank of this 'peaceful protest' looked very intimidating - and with a mob roaming the streets, I'd say Police in riot gear was called for.
Tea Baggers affected change influencing elections and, yes, the narrative of debate. At least those idiots managed to do it without costing the taxpayers so much money too.
Oh brave, brave internet trolls. Taking potshots in your cozy rooms while people are outside in the rain risking their life and limb for their and (your) constitutional rights to assembly and the redress of grievances. Flame on, assholes!
Risking life and limb. Uh, yeah. Riiiight.
A police horse ran right into me today from *behind* (at an earlier incident at 4th and Alder where the police similarly crowded the street to save the street). I was not doing anything demonstrably wrong, other than standing there obstructed in *front* by riot cops in robo-suits.
I am 44, a grad student at Marylhurst, a Portlander for 10 years. I voted for Sam. I supported him during the witch-hunt. Whatever his future ambitions, he has lost my support. Now I hear Reese has mayoral ambitions. It is to laugh.
Thank you for the first media account I've read today that accurately portrays those events! I was across the street watching from Pioneer Square sidewalk when this went down and it was horrifying to see happen. Other reports seem to leave out the key details of HOW protesters ended up on the street and that many of those sprayed, shoved, etc. were on the sidewalk in complete compliance with the dispersement order that eventually came, only saying risking arrest, not chemical weapons. Worth noting even that dispersement order was never made for those at Chase, only after they had been forced into the street.
"Judging by TV news" That was your first mistake. I have said it time and time again YOU can get on here and attack a movement that you really know NOTHING about. However, I have friends that have one years salary saved in case they become laid off or some type of emergency happens and they are a part of this movement because what is one year of quality living in this economy? We are lucky enough to have our kids college saved and paid for (MOSTLY) but how in the hell can I tell my son HE will be able to do the same? If you have children and their college is taken care of do you give a damn about your future grand-children? To have an education is absolutely a "must have" in today's world but in four years when my son graduates will he be able to get a damn job? Or will he be like several thousand other people that owe money that they may NEVER be able to pay back because there are NO JOBS? I have a strange feeling ANYONE that can bitch and moan about the "traffic" or being "frightened" by the "MOBS" downtown could really care less about anyone BUT themselves.
Just ignore frankieb, dialogue has never been on the table.
Let's play "what if" for a moment... What if the protesters could just continue and stay downtown... not paying their way, destroying public property (the parks) - just by their sheer numbers and waste, - not intentionally - continue to interfere with the people's right to work, right to get to work, right to have a life and enjoyment of what they have worked hard for. What if?

I say, what then? How is the protest helping to solve any of the problem with the banks, the economy, the financial sector, etc.?

We all have had enough of groups of people who are not acting in responsible ways; who are not accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, the very qualities that brought the protests are now being exhibited by them How easy it is to sink into the same morass against which they push.What if the protesters used their time and presence down there to voluntarily clean up the mess THEY made and are continuing to make. News flash.. The world does not owe any of them a living.

They are not the only ones that are having a difficult time these days. If they want to make a difference, then maybe it can start with becoming part of the solution... not adding to the stress. The police are NOT the problem. They have a job to do. They did not sign up specifically to deal with thousands of protesters over this last 6 weeks or so.

What do you want? What would it take for you to stop the protest? Really? What would it look like? I don't see any corporate CEOs looking to sit down with any of the OWS people to discuss solutions. Banks may have felt a bit of the sting when hundreds of thousands of people moved their money. But besides that? I'm sincerely asking. I have yet to hear much beyond the anger. Are we in trouble as a nation? Of course! Where will it end? I really don't know... I just suspect that what is happening down town is becoming a product of the Law of Diminishing Returns.. The more either side pushes, the less effective it will be, unfortunately, going forward.

When you play with fire, sooner or later, you either got to turn off the heat or somebody's gonna get burned - and get burned badly! Just my two cents.
So if banks are the big bad boogey man at the moment, Id like to hear why they offend you sensibilities so much? How is YOUR life being put out by a big bank doing legal business as usual?
Thank you to the entire Mercury news staff for kicking a lot of ass in your continuing coverage of Occupy Portland.
Figures, Occupy starts fighting for something more important than a few lousy parks and the city actually starts to show some concern.
#26 because of the banks fraudulent loans 32.3% of mortgages are underwater in Portland.…

Settlements for Pepper Spray without the 9th District warning are running about $200K each.

Get the police some more training and next contract they have to start sharing the risk from these lawsuits.

Expect to see the police ponies cut from the next budget.

#26 because of the banks fraudulent loans 32.3% of mortgages are underwater in Portland.…

Settlements for Pepper Spray without the 9th District warning are running about $200K each.

Get the police some more training and next contract they have to start sharing the risk from these lawsuits.

Expect to see the police ponies cut from the next budget.

You can contribute to society in a positive way.

Or, you can get in the way of people trying to contribute to society in a positive way.
like i said, how does this affect your life?? a loan is not fake because its bank owned, nor do banks have anything to do with housing prices. they are providing financing for the market rate at the time of sale. housing prices dropped but homeowners are still on the hook for what they borrowed. its not like you are allowed to pay less because your "investment" has lost money. our little housing bubble has wreaked a shit ton of havoc no doubt, but thats something we as a country are complicit in creating. shitty adjustable rate loans, no money financing, and overspending across the board have fucked alot of people. if we as a society learn to live within our means then we wouldnt be in this mess. big banks are doing legal business as usual and in this country, money does not have feelings.
Well, stop provoking the cops! Geez, don't poke the sleeping bear... Encircling them and screaming obscenities at them is never a good thing. I don't condone the actions of the police, but of course they're going to react that way! It's no surprise...we all know how they operate.
Anyone who is "scared" to go downtown because of the protests has been watching too much TV. The news will make you scared to do anything if you let it. It's what it does best.
I live downtown, and it actually felt safer than ever during the existence of the camp. I don't know why everyone thinks a crowd of people chanting is scary. People don't get mad until the cops start beating us.
whine whine whine, I don't want to participate but I want to ridicule anything you guys do because it interferes with my routine. And you guys are occupying a park? Why? It makes no sense? What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? When are you going to leave? What's your plan?

Ohhh, I get it, it's a protest against the banks, now you are occupying actual targets that are in line with the message.... bah-bah-bah, that's, gasp!, illegal civil disobedience! That's never, gasp, worked or anything in the past before.... Why can't you guys just mindlessly obey authority like the rest of us and quit scaring our children!
None of us would be having this discussion right now, had Gramm-Leech-Bliley and Commodity Futures Modernization not been passed in '99/'00. The protesters are not to blame for what's going on, nor are the Police. You want peace, prosperity and a chance at your slice of the pie? Demand of your lawmakers that Glass-Steagal be re-instated. Don't know what Glass-Steagal is? Look it up. Just sayin...

Oh, and Tom da sizzle bomb, you're wrong. The banks have *everything* to do with housing prices. It was their fevered trading in derivatives, collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps, not to mention their willingness to loan enormous amounts of money to people they very well knew wouldn't be able to pay it back, that created the housing bubble, and the resulting crash, in the first place. Personal responsibility is all well and good, but it doesn't mean shit in the face of institutionalized grift. Grow up, dude.
I am in my 50s, and I've been in quite a few demonstrations in my life, but I was never shoved with a baton or almost trampled by horses and people as I was today. I thought Portland had a better attitude towards peaceful protestors, but whoever is calling the shots is giving the riot police license to use medieval tactics-- charging the protestors with their batons, pushing us off the sidewalk into the street with horses into a line of riot police who start pushing us with batons saying we can't be in the street. Being pushed one way and then another. Nothing was going on in front of the bank to warrant this kind of over-reaction. The march was officially over, and people were just standing around holding their signs and talking while some in the bank were doing nonviolent civil disobedience. Why did the riot police try their best to incite a riot? I saw an elderly man getting loaded into an ambulance, his leg badly hurt or broken in the mad rush of the crowd from the pepperspray. I was almost knocked down as the crowd tried to run away from the attack. The Empire strikes its own people-- who's their dark lord? Darth Vader?
Video I shot of Portland police, suddenly attacking protesters (who are on the sidewalk) from the streets, outside Chase. There is some context in the video's description.
Thank you Portland Mercury it is amazing to hear the truth. I was at the MAX stop on Yamhill during this stand off and the only people blocking traffic were the cops. I rode the train out to the suburbs and most passengers thought it was protesters that were targeting MAX to lengthen the commute. This was not a coincidence, but bad police tactics.
At this time I would like to remind everybody of 25 Aug 2008, when by secret agreement with then Mayor and former POLICE CHIEF Tom Potter, the DOD conducted an unannounced joint army/navySEAL "Urban Operations Training Exercise" in the skies over downtown Portland…. A few city cops in Darth Vader costumes are just the tip of a VERY repressive iceberg. Mike Reese's "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" persona nothwithstanding, the Einsatzgruppen is coming.
OCCUPY YOUR MIND and stop buying into all the BS that the two major political parties in America are shoving down your throat . . . Vote Libertarian in 2012!!!

‎"The only way to reduce the power of lobbyists is to reduce the power of government. That choice rests with the voters. If voters keep electing Democrats and Republicans, then the power of government and lobbyists will continue to grow."…
ON October 6th thousands marched through the streets with a few bike cops keeping them safe from traffic. It went very very well. Now we need a bunch of stormtroopers to keep a few hundred people on the sidewalk? I don't get it.

I also don;t understand why the cops kept yelling at people to stay on the sidewalk while pushing them into the street. Very confusing. The only ones blocking traffic were the police.
And here come the Paultards. No Internet debate would be complete without them.
"ON October 6th thousands marched through the streets with a few bike cops keeping them safe from traffic. It went very very well. Now we need a bunch of stormtroopers to keep a few hundred people on the sidewalk? I don't get it"

The difference between than and now is people weren't trying to close down private businesses via trespassing during the first march. Granted, the vast majority of people on the streets weren't participating in trying to disrupt business, but it's not really possible for the polic to segment out there tactics. It's somewhat of misnomer to call sit ins "peaceful" as they are predicated on the assumption of assured conflict (as in, if someone is in your house and refuses to leave, would you really call that person a "peaceful" guest?).

Provocateurs among both the protesters and police color both sides negatively.

Huge kudos to the Merc, specifically Denis and Sarah, for their work covering this protest. I've thought at times that the Merc coverage had trended toward PR for Occupy, but in this instance, you've got my sincerest respect. Excellent story telling (even the parts i don't necessarily agree with) under very dangerous circumstances.
Thanks for the coverage, Mercury staff. It's very much appreciated.

Judging by the comments, it's badly needed too - there are evidently still people who have no fucking clue what is actually going on down there and are still watching the teevee noooze. No faster way to get the wrong impression than watching a panoramic salad shot of people doing nothing but singing over a narrative like, 'AND THE TENSIONS ARE RISING HERE IN DOWNTOWN PORTLAND' to give frightened, middle-class people in the 'burbs the absolute wrong impression of what's happening on the ground.

If you're the sort of person who has a job downtown (lucky!) and more importantly, you drive your own car (as in, it's not chauffeured for you), then that's your clue that you're also the 99%. The policies in place have hurt you a little less because you've been insulated by some class of privilege, and being white and male are two of the obvious ones. But make no mistake, your benefits are disappearing just as quietly as the 1% can manage it. You stand at the edge of a sand cliff, do you realize this? And while you bark at the people below who fell before you, about how your hard work got you this fine real estate - the wealthy are still digging. The last shovel-full those robber barons take from underneath will send you tumbling down to join the people you've been barking at, and boy are you going to feel like an asshole then. Specifically, a poor asshole.

So, white males, think a few more minutes before you post your angry retort against the protestors. You could be back in the coal mines working 80+ hour weeks without UNARMED people willing to risk their safety against fucking COPS IN RIOT GEAR the way the union organizers in the past did.

Sweet Jesus I'm afraid for them.
... as the words to John Lennons 'Revolution' go through my head...
Explain to me how a "mounted cop...tugged her to the ground by her hair".

The officer either dismounted his horse first, or (if he remain mounted) he lifted her up and dropped her. You can't tug somebody down from six feet high. The physics, the veracity, or the semantics are wrong.
All this discussion happened while I slept, but since #12 way up there so politely asked for my citation, here it is:…

Less than 20% of all millionaires in the US inherited more than 10% of their wealth from their families. Almost all of the 1% got where they are by working hard. If you're upset about being in the 99%, you only have yourself to blame. There is no conspiracy keeping you down; it's your own laziness and bad decisions.

I still don't understand why people are so upset about the banks for giving out loans, and not upset at the people who chose to take them. One of these articles mentioned a note pushed through a bank door that said "You helped make me homeless!" That's ass-backwards. You borrowed money and didn't pay it back - that ain't the bank's fault, that's yours.

And I'm so tired of the Occupiers that say I shouldn't point out your absolute stupidity because "you are fighting for me and my rights." Get it through your head - you are fighting AGAINST me. I don't support you, I don't agree with you, and I want you off the streets and in jail where you belong. You don't have my support, and every time you say you are "the 99%," you claim you do. Stop lying.
"I'm the one out there, putting my ass on the line for YOUR RIGHTS"
What pious bullshit.
Like a preacher wanting to save your soul.
Though I (peacefully) participated in yesterday's event (N17, OPDX), I am no more a "protester" than i am a "small business owner," "homeowner," "taxpayer," "neighborhood association board member," etc.. I was not joining a group, I was lending my voice to a group who is collectively, each in their own way, expressing dissatisfaction with the status quo of corporate and government bias toward wealth accumulation at the expense of the vast majority of working people, students, and retirees.
You don't get millions by working hard to be a teacher, a police officer, a firefighter, etc. But I guess, according to Reymont, only hedgefund managers and people in lucrative financial services work hard. By the way, if you have 5 million dollars and you inherited 10% of it, that's an inheritance of $500,000. And that's not a bad place to start. Most of us accrue massive student debts to make minuscule social advances, we aren't handed a free ride.

And people are mad at the banks and not the borrowers because the financialization of the housing market, healthcare and education over the past 30 years has made it impossible for the average American to afford a basic, middle-class lifestyle. In 1960 the average price of a 3-bdrm house was $12,000 and the average annual salary was $7,000. You do the math on that. Wages aren't rising, but cost of living definitely is. Something's gotta give if a middle class is going to survive.

You may be doing fine, Reymont. Good for you. The rest of us are getting the uneasy feeling that, as the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, the system may be rigged.
We need to get our manufacturing base humming and quit sending jobs overseas for cheaply made products.
That, to me, is the number one thing to get the middle-class in the middle again.
It is complicated though, right? Tarrifs on foriegn made objects...? etc etc.
'occupy' - outrage is easy. Things won't change just because you're mad about it (as I am too) and rant downtown at banks and such.
And, I have been down there too and seen this all first-hand, not just from behind a TV screen. Nor is my only soarce of info the TV, the O, or even the Merc.
Give me something to vote on. Support a candidate. Get a platform....
Give me something to vote on! Just throwing a tantrum downtown won't do shit.
Wow. How far back do you want to take this? What's the plan here? You'd like to reform campaign finance? Awesome. I'm all for that. You want to take back "your land", or tear down the capitalist system, or do away with this supposed "police state"? That's misguided at best, and blatantly idiotic at worst.

Here's an idea. How about making yourself presentable, getting yourself on the biggest public forum in the world, which just so happens to be that TEEVEE you seem to despise, win some hearts and minds with sympathetic rhetoric and get some folks who share your agenda voted into political office.

If the Tea Party folks managed to do it, why can't you? Those fuckers even took LOADED firearms to public debates. And don't give me that "Waaaaahhh, they had money from secret donors, waaaahhhhh" bullshit. They sure as fuck knew how to work a message.

Get a commercial friendly face. Stop freaking people out with your masks and mobs and beat the people you despise at their own game. It may not make you feel as big as standing against a line of cops, but that's the way shit gets done in this country.

Figure it out.
Nice link from the 90s Reymont. Compelling. I'll file it next to my copy of "Dow 30,000!"
I was disturbed by the size and armaments of the police presence. I find it credible that they handled it poorly, or were poorly organized and therefore ended up pushing protesters both away from the bank, then off the street on the other side.

At the same time, there are people at these protests who want to get one foot from a cops face and yell obscenities at them. I know that I would want to hit such a person with a stick if I were that cop.

Hopefully, Reese and his staff aren't just closing ranks and blaming the protesters, but actually disecting how their tactics might have escalated this.


I'm just suggesting that the movement coalesce and start working to create a meaningful change through legislation. Also, winning support for said legislation might require an image change.

I don't think a loud standoff with police, or demanding that the streets are your streets, or trying to occupy private property is going to win the support of the people OPDX claims to be fighting for.

I'm sympathetic to the idea that there is a vast inequality of wealth in this country, and I think a part of it is due to corporate influence in politics, but Occupy lost me with their woo woo twinkle-finger bullshit.

I want a way to participate, but I'm not going to stand in front of a line of riot cops and shout. I know what that's all about. Been there. Done that. Got tear-gassed. Blah blah blah.

When Occupy offers up some concrete way I can make a lasting legislative change in the way our systems operates. I will sure as shit vote for it.

In the meantime, I'm not going to feel particularly torn up about people, participating in direct action, drawing riot police who do what riot police do when people are occupying private property.

And besides, isn't this what they want? All this talk of "Every time you pepper spray a Occupier the movement gets stronger," seems to be a tacit way of saying: "Thank you sir may I have another?"
@PAC and your vote won't count unless you got some funds, hun
Well, back it up then - get legislators to sponser a bill. Get the 99% to contribute to needed funds, and do something besides throwing temper tantrums.
But wait, you guys take forever just to decide to unblock a street, right?
The smart rich will do whatever they can to keep the poor poor. FMFM CEO made $100 million last year while their company robbed, cheat, steal people legally with fees and fines and at the same time they are not lending money to anyone because the interest rate are too low for them to make enough money.

A lot of small businesses failed because the banks are holding on to the money (which is suppose to be circulated to stimulate the economy) from SB to use as working capital. It's a greedy mentality that is destroying this great country. America is starting to look like 3rd world country.

Thomas Jefferson once said. "I believe that banking institutions are MORE DANGEROUS to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around these banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power of currency should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."
Mike Reese- you are fucked because #1. using a sexual assault of a citizen to score political points is super tacky, and puts the survivor in a pretty bad situation. I mean, how would any one like their trauma being talked about in a press conference?

You are fucked #2, because you are in charge of allocating police resources, and right now you are more interested in protecting the 1%"s bank buildings then responding to anti-social crime. that is, you are showing where your priorities lie.

Mayor Reese? Really?
Keeping the streets clear and traffic moving, that's a stupid, thankless and impossible mission given the circumstances, and it's being done primarily to keep the Portland Business Alliance happy.

The cops no longer represent or protect the people that pay their salaries, they represent and protect corporate interests.
I don't know what the PBA contributes in election years, honestly. Anyone?
i think white people under the age of 30 have gone insane. still, nobody has answered my question, how are big banks doing legal business affecting your day to day activities? all im hearing thus far is banks are evil, oogga boooga, cops are baaaad, bbbbbwahhhh....maybe you dopes should look in the good old entitlement mirror and do a re-evaluation of what you see. white? check! american, check! able bodied? degree? some of whats the problem? you are already part of the ruling class by the accident of birth and you live in the richest country in the planet. so, really, harden the fuck up and get on with your lives. no the current state of affairs isnt ideal, but the wheels has far from fallen off the wagon. so, here is an idea, cut your beard, brush your hair, retool your resume and chill the fff out. until you do so, the rest of the 99% will just see a bunch of whiny hippies.
Wow. Kind of seems like OPDX finally got what it wanted. The Merc gets to write outraged, biased blog posts like all the other big city folk out there. OPDX gets to complain that the cops are oppressing them (which only makes them stronger, remember?).

@PatrickColeman - Your comments pretty much describe my own position toward Occupy. But it seems we (as part of the so called 99%) our opinions are meaningless unless we want to subject ourselves to drum circles and leaflets. To have a moderate, logical opinion about how to change the status quo is to be, it seems, in direct conflict with Occupy. For every Occupier I've asked to vote, to publicize a policy outline, to register as a political party and work for change has told me that I am a dumb suburbanite (I'm neither) who must love banks and capitalism ( I don't, within reason) and had better just shut up and be grateful that the Occupiers are out there (in the park!) *standing up* for me.

It seems you either need to fall in line with Occupy's message or be dismissed as an idiot who doesn't know what's best for them. I'm not really into to either of those things.
occupy is obviously a work in progress, and i agree, id like to see some more tangible demands, some kind of action plan. as it is, i have a hard time taking any of their complaints seriously, or at least with a huge grain of salt. been under the hawthorn bridge lately? walked through old town at midnight, or even worse, the tenderloin in san fransisco? those people have real problems, you have an internet connection! try volunteering on behalf of people with legitimate issues and perhaps your disenfranchised outlook might change a bit. i dont have all the answers, and im still stuggling to get my own ducks in a row, but i sure as shit, don't have time to walk around all day protesting. i need to get crap done and pay some bills. dont you guys? apparently not.
It has been several years since the onset of the economic crisis. During that time, people’s lives have become increasing difficult. The support systems that people relied on, unemployment insurance, charity, family, all have become increasingly strained and inadequate. Many crutches have splintered and snapped.

Many people had placed some hope in relief with the Obama Administration. For many reasons, this has evaporated. So in comes “Occupy”. It started in NYC 2 months ago, and spread rapidly too many many places across the country, and across the globe. For many people, it is there first time being engaged politically. This was not stage managed.

It can only be categorized as a leftist populist movement. The anti-capitalist left in the United States is very marginalized by institutional power; I mean the media and the electoral process. This is not to say that it does not marginalize itself as well, but compared to many countries, it is shut out of the “official” processes. Because of this, the infrastructure to direct a “message” is lacking. The tea party was able to direct a message because they had million dollars NGOs, corporate PR machines, as well as a major American cable news channel supporting their work.

So, to expect “occupy” to have clear and delineated political programs, to have tight and disciplined organization, to speak with one voice, is ahistorical notion. To come to occupy and say “this is not how I would want resistance to capitalism to look” is a fool’s errand. One can complain about drum circles and homeless people. But that is what you are looking for. That is a small part that you are extrapolating out, in order to dismiss or too direct this social explosion.

In fact, it is precisely the fact that “occupy” is an organizing pole for many different grievances is a strength. There is a lot of clumsy thinking around this issue. Attempting to shoe horn “occupy” into the political process, into the media system as it exists today is exactly what should be avoided.

Our current media system, which wants bullet points and 5 second sound bites, cannot grasp the totality of the failure in legitimacy that capitalism is facing. It cannot do so because it is lazy, stupid, and is in service to power. Students have no jobs and are burdened by debt, vets return home to devastated families and unemployment, 50 million people have no health insurance- and many that do cannot afford to use it. Rents are skyrocketing, people are being foreclosed on. Unemployment grinds on. These are all reasons to “Occupy”.

People want one 5 second notion to get their heads around. But our problems are much larger than that, more complicated. And the political process, the media system, and capitalism are ill prepared to reflect that complexity.

So start to think. This is the shape of things to come.
well i guess that my problem then, im marginally populist, extremely centrist, and by all means a supporter of capitalism. my support is a lost cause. but hey, at least you guys are getting out there and doing something. sitting around in a park for a month was kind of dumb.
The only way change has ever happened in this country is peaceful assemble and protest. I wouldn't have the right to vote today if it women hadn't been willing to take a stand and protest and get arrested. What if Rosa Parks hadn't had the guts to stay in her seat on the bus? READ HISTORY. Now, there are always a few rowdy people when there is a movement. Look at the Tea Party guy who threw the woman down on the ground and held her there by putting his boot on her face? We are a corporate state and what has happened in our country mirrors very much what happened before the Great Depression. I admire these protestors for their bravery. Police in riot gear is not necessary but we have to remember their first obligation is to protect corporate interest...not the people. If people are breaking the law fine, arrest them, but from what I have seen on video (and from eyewitness reports from both my daughter and friends who are involved in the movement) the police are overreacting. But this has happened throughout our history...anytime the ordinary people "really speak out" or make noise they get vilified by the press and the state tries to shut them down. I say good for Occupy for their bravery and for standing up against corruption and the oligarchy.
I've tallied the results, and this thread goes to Graham.
shit on all libtards!
I agree with Patric Coleman.....and I would like to add that this is likely to get worse as more of a cry for attention takes place.....and people who are just trying to get to work and pay for their basic needs get fed up with this. I already am.
@PatrickColeman and Sarahfina, I'm totally with you guys. I've been saying the same thing, that I support the message, but I think that their methods are all wrong. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one. Anytime I've expressed this, I also get yelled at for "not supporting the Occupiers while they're fighting for me" and it just pisses me off and makes me want to actually stop supporting.

@69, you make a valid point. What was the estimate for the restoration of the parks Occupy trashed? Between $50,000 and $100,000? Yeaaah think of all the good that money could have done to people that really need it. What a waste.
I would agree that many in Occupy are not interested in cultivating support from ideological supporters of capitalism. Of course, many participants simply want capitalism reformed.

Regarding the parks. Yes, this is a cost that will be born by tax payers. As well as billions and billions of other costs that get shuffled onto society by capitalists every day. At some point is seems a little silly to get outraged about small cost brought out by social protest, while the other much higher costs go on day after day with little in the way of protest.

Sitting in the parks for a few months was a spontaneous reaction to the action in NYC. it spread to hundreds of cities in the US. There were occupys in Seaside, Astoria, and other small towns. this is less an example of a functional political strategy, but an expression of the failure of electoral politics to have an impact on peoples lives. The massive groundswell of support, and the breadth of it's reach shows the extent of failure official channels offer citizens.

So if you, in the wave of history, want to obsess on the shortcomings of peoples attempts to become agents of change in their lives, you can. but you are picking a side. be clear about it.

Please wait...

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