Occupy Marathon

Congratulations, Portland Marathon! You have run roughshod over people's right to assembly, interrupting the most important political movement in this country since the protests of the Iraq War, all so that you can revel in your own vanity.

The rest of us know that exercise is kind of selfish. We don't fool ourselves into thinking that it sends a positive message, or make us more enlightened, or that it makes the world a better place.

True, marathons are a celebration of human potential. Would that city government, police, and our society recognize that protests too, are celebrations of human potential: Instead of trying to improve the condition of their own bodies, protesters try to improve the human condition.

Both marathons and protests are equally disruptive, but our society has become confused about which group is motivated by a selfish need for attention, and which group is trying to make life better for everyone.

Clearly, you all feel very accomplished. You ran a certain distance in a certain time. Did this do anything to improve the situation for the 100,000 people in the Portland area who are jobless, the 49 million people in this country with no access to health care, the 29 percent of children in the Portland area who face "food insecurity," and the fact that all of this coincides with an unprecedented (and untaxed) profit boom for this country's most powerful corporations, issues that the Occupy Portland protesters are trying to tackle? No, it didn't. You just got in the way.—Anonymous