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Response to pasto76 (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:26 AM

42. There wasn't any rioting by OWS people in LA that I am aware of.

I don't think there was any in Portland either. Yet the police came in full force. It was an ugly sight.

The problem is that if you want to invite people from the community to meet together, you have to rent a hall or a building. That means you have to have money. And when you need money, you have to beg for it.

To do something without having a lot of money (small donations are pretty much what Occupy had), you need to use public property. There simply is no place available for people to meet for extended periods of time unless they spend a lot of money.

Hence, Occupy. It provided locations for ordinary people and activists to simply meet and talk, march and get a message out to the public.

There was nothing even obnoxious about that conduct.

When I saw the tents at city hall in Los Angeles, I thought about a meeting I had attended there a year or so earlier. It was a discussion about certain property issues and I informally represented my neighbors with regard to a property near our homes. I was able to speak because I know how to do that. In addition to me, there were a lot of paid professionals representing property owners. It struck me that for the rich, for the experienced, for those educated to deal with government officials, access to our government is granted without a question or a frown.

The rich, the influential, the fortunate, the articulate can just call the office of the mayor or a councilman and get an audience, at least a telephone call.

But, the rest of the people, young students, homeless people, working people, the poor, don't know how to do that. And if they called, they would speak to an assistant of an assistant.

And so that is why we had Occupy. It provided a place for those who don't have access to politicians normally to at least get some attention.

I thought it was a good idea overall. I'm sorry the police reacted to it with so little understanding and so much paranoia.

That was a big mistake on the part of the police.

Rich people just walk in the front door and talk to the top players -- or meet them in the clubs and at parties. Ordinary people -- their names mean nothing. If they do get to say something, it will not be remembered.

That's one of the flaws in our "democracy."

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