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Occupy Seattle

October 16th, 2011 at 02:28 am

Today I visited Westlake Center to see what I can see amongst the Occupy Seattle group. A good thousand people were there. The energy was high, many of the homemade signs were clever and creative - my fave so far was Only Boehner's Tears Trickle Down. One sign had an Elizabeth Warner quote "The rich didn't get that way by themselves"; I had a nice chat with the lady (my age) holding it.

About 70% of the people were under 30, but there were a number of people my age also.

This whole thing, though, reminds me of the first day of the WTO riots before the anarchists came. And the anarchists were there, ever hopeful. Fewer black hoods and more Guy Faulks masks. I picked up the anarchist newsletter (which seems oxymoronic) where an article also compared this to the WTO riots.

Anybody else in a city with an Occupy group? Anybody else visit it?

11 Responses to “Occupy Seattle”

  1. terri77 Says:

    I know there are protests going on in New Orleans, but haven't been down there. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. PNW Mom Says:

    Occupy Portland has been going on......we are in the "burbs" though so no visit for us.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    I've got a couple friends who've at least checked out the Occupy MN protests. So far like you said, peaceful and clever ideas. I haven't really had time to process what I think about them. At least they haven't turned me off as the Tea Party did early on with outwardly racist, violent or just plain ignorant ("Keep government outta my Medicare!") signs/statements, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    No occupy groups near me Smile Now if I was still in TX ...

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Well of course there's Occupy Wall Street here in the NY area. Last I heard, Mayor Bloomberg had sent in squads of people to purportedly clean up the park where the protesters had been camped out, but protesters believe it's a veiled attempt to get rid of them because they were told that while they were welcome to return after the park was cleaned up, they have to abide by park regs, which state that you can't sleep there.

  6. retire@50 Says:

    I was listening to a report on the radio about a local reporter in NY who went down to interview some of the people to find out what they want. One of the guys said he wants the government to pay for his student loans. The inteviewer asked why we should do that? The protester said because he wanted it, he was allowed to state his opinion and that's what he wanted. Some other guy said "I want a new car." You don't always get everything you want.

    I wonder if some of these people realize that taxes are paid on work. If you want tax dollars to pay for your student loans, insurance, 3 years of unemployment etc, someone has to work to pay the taxes to cover those costs. You may not be working and may think you should have government cover you for that reason, but someone else has to work and give up some of the things they want to cover your wants.

    I'm very leary when people start talking about taking money away from one group of people to give to another. Once you take money from the first group, you have to go to the next tier, and it keeps 'progressing' until it gets to your level and then I wonder how you feel about forced 'redistribution' of the money you worked to get.

    In my opinion government is the least efficient way to get money from one group to another. If government wasn't involved I think a lot more money would be going into the economy than is now, because people wouldn't be afraid of what will change next week and would be more interested in investing and hiring and spending.

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    I think that reporter found some ignorant people, or else pulled the quotes out of context. I could see both of those being reasonable, like the guy saying "I want a new car" could have then said "but my income has stagnated even though I keep working harder, and the cost of living keeps going up." Not "I want a new car and Wall Street needs to buy it for me."

    Also, if you talk about "redistribution of wealth," remember that it goes both ways. Banks and corporations (with help from government which they get more input in choosing than individual voters) have changed the rules and the playing field so that more and more money goes into the top 1%'s pockets. That is redistribution of wealth. It's happening right now, it's been happening at least since the 1980s but it's accelerating every year.

    Here's a really good article from a 99%er trying to explain what Occupy Wall Street is all about: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/12/1025555/-Open-Letter-to-that-53-Guy

  8. baselle Says:

    I'm at left of center here, but not very far from center.

    I very much understand the why-are-we-paying-for-your-F-up argument and boy I wouldn't want to pay for a car or even someone's college education. However, I remember back in '08 that we as taxpayers bailed out the biggest banks and Wall Street entities via TARP. The threat was that if we didn't, it would be Great Depression v.2.0. The anger here is that for many, it is Great Depression v.2.0 anyway and that the taxpayer money ... even though "paid back" was money down a rathole.

  9. My English Castle Says:

    Occupying is certainly happening in Milwaukee.

    I plan on having a discussion about the virtues and vices of Wall Street with my class tomorrow.

    We've been pondering the Keynes quote: “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”

  10. PatientSaver Says:

    Exactly, Baselle. Corporate America is doing better than ever, thanks to its ability to squeeze out more productivity at less pay from the working man.

    The press quoted a 69-year-old woman who was buying tickets to see a show on Broadway the other day. She said, those protesters need to go get a job. Umm, duh. I don't think she had a clue, other than that the ruckus they were causing was disrupting her experience of 42nd Street.

    I'd give anything to sit in on My English Castle's class.

  11. retire@50 Says:

    I think bailing out wall street was a poor decision also. I know they say we made we made money on the transaction, but I don't think it's governments job to do that. I consider myself libertarian, which basically means take responsibility for yourself and get government out of day-to-day life decisions. That means government get out of solar energy, oil energy, car making and financial and mortgage industry. And people need to make decisions before getting any type of loans on if they will be able to pay them back without government intervention.

    There's been a lot of reporting on many of the occupy wall street crowd wanting government to pay their student loans, so don't think that was out of context.

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