At first, the Occupy Movement, and it’s offshoots including Occupy Oakland, the best known of them other than Occupy Wall Street, started with a noble purpose, bringing attention to the many people who were being laid off from work, and kicked out of their homes by the “big banks” – the organizations that received bailout loans from the Federal Government.
But after wave after wave of clashes with police officers in many cities, the Occupy Movement seems to have become more obsessed with what it can take over next, than who’ their efforts impact. The Occupy Movement’s actions have cost the 99 percent more money than the 1 percent it claims to be after. Today, it’s actions were to shut down port operations along the West Coast. In the process, the movement’s actions harmed the working efforts of the very people many believe it was trying to help: longshoremen, truckers, and dock workers.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has not made many statements this blogger agrees with regarding the Occupy Movement – until now. Today, after the Occupy Movement worked to shut down Port of Oakland operations, and in a number of cases succeeded, Quan said:
“While we have not had physical violence, the economic violence to this City is just not fair…A small group of people are going to hold this port, this city, this economy hostage. It’s not fair to the workers. It is not fair to this city. This city has been very generous to the 99% movement. This city has been very supportive.
“The people who are planning to stay at the Port – do they have families who have trucks that because of the slowdown in the economy may lose those trucks? A day’s pay – $600 – $700 – could be the difference as to whether they can keep that truck or not. Do they have families who are in the hiring hall of the ILWU and because shipping in general throughout the country’s been down, but particularly on the West Coast, aren’t going to be able to buy Christmas presents this Christmas because now this is the third day of work that they’ve lost?
People have to think about the consequences. People have to think about who are they hurting. They are saying, ‘We want to get the attention of the ruling class.’ Well, I think the ruling class is probably laughing, and people in this city will be crying this Christmas. It’s really got to stop.”
The Occupy Movement states that…
Global civil society is being threatened by a system based on power and not on human values. Day after day it represses basic freedoms and consistently favors the greed of the few over the needs of the many. This power finances wars, food and pharmaceutical monopolies, it sponsors dictatorial regimes across the globe, destroying environments, manipulating and censoring information flow and transparency.
Fine, but there’s no real evidence America’s ports are responsible for that.
It would be nice if the Occupy Movement grew up. It’s not going to effectively replace our current way of life if it doesn’t have a viable, attractive alternative. To be totally blunt, it’s pretty mean that the movement elected to harm the economy at the very time the World’s economy is weak, not strong. Why it’s doing that, whatever the reason, is becoming criminal.
It needs to stop. There’s nothing wrong with picking a side politically. Stand with those political types who are sympathetic to the effort, rather than attacking them and leaving Republicans unimpacted. The Occupy Movement needs to show real courage – the courage reflected by making a choice.