Occupy 101: Fundementals of peaceful protest

Jeff Moses

It seems to me that many of the people criticizing the Occupy movement are all saying the same thing, that they lack a fundamental message, and they don’t have a direction.

But what I see when I look at the movement as a whole is a large group of people who know there are problems in this country, perhaps even more than can be vocalized.

Though getting money out of politics seems to be a broad statement, many occupiers would give a simple solution.

Overturn citizens united, disband the American Legislative Exchange Council, and see to it that corporate campaign finance is either recapped or done away with all together.

The Occupy Phoenix movement shows a huge amount of resilience by spending the last 48 days and counting in Cesar Chavez Plaza, without the comforts of tents, sleeping bags, pillows, or blankets.

The brave souls occupying Tucson, after having two of their three camps closed down, spend their nights facing $1,000 tickets for urban camping.

In Seattle, after spending a few weeks in the Westlake Plaza, the occupation upped and moved and took over Seattle Central Community College, which did not have any rules regarding the use of the campus as an assembly site.

The governing body of the school quickly tried to enact rules against the guerrilla assembly, but the occupiers were able to hit them with an injunction to fight the possible eviction.

Occupy LA, the biggest of the occupations I  visited, had its assembly site raided by the LAPD in the early morning hours of Nov. 30.

Occupy LA had been occupying City Hall with more than 200 tents for over a month when the “Man” decided to crack down and trample all over the First Amendment rights of the protestors. LA is finding its biggest issue to be sustainability. With more than 200 present, feeding the occupation alone is a logistical nightmare.

Phoenix sees big issues in recruiting. Try as they might, Occupy Phoenix remains a regular assembly of about 25 to 30 people, which sees minimal spikes for big events, and numbers of occupiers often drop to single digits in the wee hours of the morning.

Staying dry is obviously one of the biggest struggles of Occupy Seattle, as well as pepper spray-happy cops who recently sprayed an 84-year-old woman, a 4-year-old girl, and a priest.

Though the occupations all struggle differently, they struggle in solidarity, and maintain that regardless of what they have to say, they will be heard.     

Mesa Legend Staff

Mesa Legend Staff

Stories contributed by MCC journalism students. See end of each article for corresponding authors.
Mesa Legend Staff

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