The occupy movements have hit the country by storm, there is no doubt about that. Not only has the movement literally sprouted from New York to Los Angeles, but there is even Occupy in other countries. I have spent a good amount of time at the Occupy Long Beach site, so I have a pretty good feeling of just how many people support, and who is part of this very small 99%.
About 60 people come and go at Occupy Long Beach. Granted, Lincoln Park is not known for its large fields of grass and ample space. It seems almost like a cultivated group of people that feel comfortable here. "A lot of these people seem like they don't have much else to do, even if they weren't here," said Amber S., a local resident who was walking her dog near the park.
Occupy Long Beach does not seem to be very organized and when someone offered unity between a lot of the Occupy movements, everyone rejected it. The protesters did not seem too happy about the way that the LBPD treated them on their first night so some decided to do some civil disobedience. A grand total of 4 people decided to stay in their tents afther LBPD made it clear the park was closed and they would get arrested. Two people, including Louis (above), simply got citations and were released after a few minutes. The other two got taken away, one of which was taken for resisting arrest. The crowd chanted ther names as the police escoted the detainees to some near-by vans and the "We love you!" was heard throughout the mass. Funny it seems that a couple kids in their early 20s, a man in his 60s and a 17 year old are the ones getting in legal trouble but suddenly the crowd is all for following the law.
The Occupy Wall Street, with its "bail us out" message, is one that many can get behind. Occupy Long Beach is a bit unclear with their message. I understand that everyone is there for their own reasons, but without a unifying cause, you get little support. It is a great idea with poor execution.
Have you passed by the Occupy Long Beach site? If so, what have you seen? What do you REALLY think about OLB?
You should have known. It's called being responsible. I'm sorry to say I've heard one too many times, "she didn't look like she was 15."
I'm still trying to figure out how defacing public property in broad daylight is an acceptable form of peaceful assembly. There is no way the the majority of you were ignorant to the fact that your compatriots were tearing the ordinances signs off of the light polls and fences. My sister sent me video that her neighbor shot today. I've got a suggestion. have you considered occupying Belmont Shore or Naples?
Sybil, how should we have known? Are you equating Jonah's act of civil disobedience with statutory rape? I have teenagers and I've worked with teens, and I would have guessed that Jonah was in his early 20's. No one egged him on, and once we found out his age there was much support expressed to his mother (along with offers to help with any fines or dry cleaning of his suit).
Why do you think that occupying Belmont Shore would be more effective, or are you being sarcastic?
Jenny, I'm equation it with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. If you'd rather, I could use a liquor comparison. There are more influential people in the Shore who are not the 1%. Residents of the Shore, have lost more in this recession than have residents of the downtown area. Loss of property values, loss of retirement investment, loss of well-paying jobs, high dollar tuition for paid for their kids who now can't find work, lowered credit ratings, and if unemployed, a higher debt to income ratio. That should be a prime and receptive set of circumstances for your cause.
No one pushed him to do anything, so your accusations and comparisons are baseless. I do agree that residents from many different neighborhoods of Long Beach have much to be unhappy about.
Jenny, I never said that Justin was pushed into doing anything. I said that he was encouraged to break the law by the adults around him. The adults provided the opportunity that led to his arrest. I also said that a group of adults cheered him on while he was arrested, and that he is a minor. Which of those statements is baseless?
If an adult gives alcohol to a minor, they are contributing to the delinquency of a minor, simply by providing the opportunity to drink. They don't have to force the minor to drink the alcohol, they need only provide both the alcohol and the opportunity to drink it. What part of that comparison is baseless? Those are the legal points. The ethical and moral question is, "aren't adults supposed to protect children, rather than encourage their delinquency?"
Day or night, Occupy Long Beach lacks the energy and presence seen in other Occupy movements. 300 people marching seems like a large number, but it certainly isn't 99% of our city's population. It's not even 1%. It's not a tenth of 1%.
Now, of course we can't expect everybody who supports the movement to come out and join it. Plenty of folks have no means of transportation. Some have classes, whose tuitions they'd naturally love to see paid. Some even work for the very businesses for whom the movement blames its troubles.
But the main thing keeping citizens away from Occupy is that nobody is quite sure what they want. Many of the protesters feel that big business has too great an influence on our government. Others feel exactly the opposite - that government regulations are to blame for their financial woes. Then there are those who have no coherent explanation of the protests, but recognize that they have something in common - a need for money - and join in. A few just blame Jews. (Not kidding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMjm4LxFa1c)
Sadly, though the anti-Semites and thoughtless protesters are but a tiny portion of Occupy, they seem to get most of the press - the same way the few racists in the Tea Party brand the entire movement as such. Lacking leadership may be admirable in some ways, but a spokesperson would really benefit Occupy here. Such a person could publicly denounce the intolerance and envy which appears to fuel the movement, and explain in a coherent way exactly what Occupy stands for.
Although this might alienate some of the extremists within the movement, they would be more than replaced by Occupy's growing popularity, as more rational citizens begin to recognize it as a worthy cause.
I realize this is more about Occupy America than Occupy Long Beach. Still, if the movement is ever to become cohesive, the "Occupiers" will eventually have to agree on some common goals.
Allan, it is well known in the Jewish community that accusations of anti-Semitism in progressive movements are used as a scare tactic to lessen Jewish support of the issue. We don't fall for it.
Broad generalizations, eh? Allan, define "extremists within the movement," and "rational citizens." I'm curious.
Wow...where do I start. I appreciate many of the posters here that have written such thoughtful comments - even those that criticize...of course, I would appreciate them even more if they came down to say them in person, face-to-face so that it was a thoughtful conversation had between citizens.
I know there has not been a nice little soundbite that sums up the worldwide Occupy Movements in a nice, easy to digest format.
Think of this as an AWARENESS march - we are crying out for our fellow neighbors to join us in fighting against the ruling thumb of the almighty dollar.
We want money out of politics, we want corporations to not be treated like people, we want money spent on jobs, education, and the people as opposed to wars and bailouts for huge corporations, especially ones that funnel their money into off-shore bank accounts while giving CEOs millions of dollars in bonuses and not paying the American people back.
Think about the, say, Breast Cancer Awareness Marches/runs, etc that you have seen - do you tell them to sit down and shut up about a cancer that is destroying our people up just because they do not already have a cure?!
I would think not.
This is a cry for solidarity and a fight against the cancer eating our country.
Marcus said we should work within the system to change it. We have and we do - but it is not an either/or situation.
We have voted - and we will continue to vote. Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems we are fighting about is that *votes only count when dollars don't.*
We ARE social workers and volunteers that feed the homeless and people that work with disadvantaged children, and work to keep children off of drugs, and work as lawyers for the little guys, we are crusaders against sneaking GMOs into our foods so that corporations like Monsanto can benefit without having to prove that we will not suffer as a result. We are local entrepreneurs, we are graphic designers for local businesses, we are unemployed but trying so hard to get a job for over a year now, we are students, we are mothers and fathers, we are former business owners that employed lots of people.
BUT if we keep only doing this same ol' thing that people comfortable with the status quo have said to do - we get the same ol' results. We keep the status quo because change will not come without pressure. We fight against these issues individually but are going to be far more powerful collectively.
We are working to get more organized, this is new. We are figuring it out - we are listening to each other and working for change.
This is just the beginning of the pressure needed to enact that change.
To me this is a delayed reaction from 2008 (watch "Inside Job" and then get back to me) - but it is better late than never.
If we do not rally together, if we do not join together face to face to hash out the problems, we will never get the solutions our Earth and our people need.
In the Occupy movement - all of your voices are welcome and begged for...all of you. No matter what party affliation - you could even be in the Koch brother funded Tea Party and we would not shun you.
But I have a right to my voice too - and some of you are making comments that are not based in fact, that are hurtful and very untrue.
Sybil - It is an absolutely ridiculous and baseless accusation to say that we are taking from the homeless - I really am not positive where you got that from but it is mean, hateful, and a lie.
The only donations we EVER handle are those donated to us from Occupy LB/ Occupy Wall Street supporters that want to show their solidarity for the cause and want to give food to those who are staying in the park overnight. (I am one of those people that have stayed there every night since we started this occupation). So we gratefully accept it and we put it out at various meal times and share with anyone who wants some.
I have shared food, blankets, hugs, smiles, stories, etc with all the people I meet in the park, those without a home or not. From what they tell us, the police normally harass them in this park and have not been doing so since we arrived - so more have come to join us. Your accusation that we chose this location based on the fact that we might get some handouts due to our proximity to the homeless population and frequent food donations given to them is also RIDICULOUS and baseless.
In regard to Jonah - he told everyone that he was 19. We ALL thought he was a 19 year old adult acting on his own accord. No, we don't check IDs at the door - it is not a bar.
Hindsight is 20/20 - if we KNEW he was 17, maybe some people would have felt differently and tried to persuade him to not do what he did. But we didnt know so that is neither here nor there. He has said that his parents are at peace with his decision to do what he did - if they are, what right do you have to be so holier than thou?
During the day, our numbers are low - mainly because many of us have to hold down a job and also because you all are not coming out to help us help you. We are fighting against the fact that approximately 24 millions of our friends are out of work - we do not take it lightly that some of us DO have a job (not all of us do but a majority do) so we do not throw our jobs away. We work on Occupy in shifts and fight the good fight the best that we can.
I personally do not work for a corporation that I am fighting against. I do not work for Bank of America or Monsanto. I work for a locally owned health food company that is family owned. I personally did not witness the person ripping down the signs and I do not believe THAT MANY of us did because of it being sparsely populated during the week day as I stated before. I believe he was an ally from Occupy LA. He was acting as an individual but I will not judge. Civil disobedience is uncomfortable for those comfortable with the status quo. Find it interesting that will raise your ire and yet corporations having more rights than people to the detriment (tearing down) of our society is no biggie...
Marcus also told us that "You are not going to overthrow the US Government this way and your not going to have your way by whining."
We are joining together in fellowship, we are determined to have a voice louder than "CA-CHING" - we would buy our own lobbyists to schmooze with the powers that be but unfortunately, that hasnt been possible.
Alan said, "Many of the protesters feel that big business has too great an influence on our government. Others feel exactly the opposite - that government regulations are to blame for their financial woes."
I would say the majority think that BOTH are true - it is not either/or. It is a revolving door between the offender corporations and the government.
"Then there are those who have no coherent explanation of the protests, but recognize that they have something in common - a need for money - and join in."
It is not just a need for money - it is a need for OUR money (the money we pay in taxes to the government) to actually be used for OUR welfare as a country and not to be squandered into a couple CEOs pockets or to fund wars that kill innocent civilians. Like I said before, I am sorry it has not all been articulated in a nice little soundbite - the issues are COMPLEX. There is no "him good, him bad" - things are so intertwined, so naturally it is not black and white. So that is why we sum it up to say that 1% is controlling 40% of the wealth while 99% split 60% of the wealth. This is something that affects us ALL.
These billionaires control our government (sometimes they are the government), our environmental policies, our food, our education system...the list goes on. It is a mouthful - it is not a tasty little soundbite.
A few just blame Jews." Please read this article and reflect. http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/exploiting_anti-semiti...
In regard to the Kevin & Bean radio program featuring Heather - I cannot say that I do not wish she would have been able to express herself better and I cannot say that she represents Occupy LB either. I feel I would have answered their questions a bit differently and she, to my knowledge, did not get any insight from the group before going on the show.
BUT they are maintstream dudes that were basically switching between mocking her and then saying they weren't mocking her - I mean it is a comedy show after all - they do not want to hear serious complex rational, they want the tasty little soundbite too.
I know you want us to have one spokesperson that speaks eloquently. In a perfect world that would be nice. But we are just starting the conversation - won't you join us and give us your expertise that you are so happy to share from behind the shield of your computer?
It is all about having a real community, a real, dynamic family - we will not always agree but we will talk, brainstorm, compromise and come to consensus until we do. We are humans...corporations are not and yet you protect them and the 1% as if you have a chance of finally making it to their magical club one day. That's what I don't get!
PS. One direct action we have committed to do is to be a part of "Bank Transfer Day" - we are taking our money out of the big offender banks and funneling it into credit unions and local banks by November 5th. We urge everyone to join us.
What everybody should be working toward is the implementation of term-limits at all levels of government. That would take away the incentive of long-term graft in the system, and is the logical and most effective first step of cleaning up our government and holding those who represent us accountable. The powers that be depend on us fighting and assigning blame to our fellow Americans, while it's business as usual at their level. They have done a splendid job dividing us and selling wholesale resentment across the board. IF YOU WANT TO CURE WHAT AILS OUR COUNTRY TREAT THE DISEASE, NOT THE SYMPTOM. The banks' next logical step (after losing deposits) is to lay off workers. And then continues the viscous cycle. A bank teller may not earn as much as the CEO, but he/she depends on those earnings to live. We, as a nation, need to stop taking action, that in the end, only hurts average Americans.