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#Occupy: Is This a Wise Use of Resources?

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I, as have many of us, have been following the various #Occupy efforts with some interest. News coverage asking the plaintive whine “but what do they WANT?” combined with all the various attempts to make it all just a bunch of DFHs, druggies, and so on. (Rather defeated when even the Washington Post has articles like yesterday (Wednesday, November 16) where they lede with an admission that maybe the #Occupy folks did have some points in mind after all):

The movement began as a protest of major economic and political issues, but lately the most divisive issue has become the protests themselves. The Occupy Wall Street encampments that formed across the country to spotlight crimes committed on Wall Street have become rife with problems of their own. There are sanitation hazards and drug overdoses, even occasional deaths and sexual assaults.

So, in this one article, the Post manages to paint the original effort as valid but now has lost its way. In the overall online world there is an oft seen type of commenter known as a Concern Troll. That quoted paragraph from the Post seems to fit the definition to a tee.

Let’s examine this a bit though. One of the themes of people like Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo as well as many other mayors and governors around the country is how things are so bad economically that the states must cut back in so many services, laying off teachers, first responders, cutting Medicaid eligibility, rolling back unemployment benefits, and generally destroying both the social safety net and wages and benefits for state workers. Yet here it is, New York City can incur millions of dollars in overtime costs going after unarmed, mostly peaceful protestors (according to this from WNYC it was over $5M by late October), yet city agencies are scrambling for funds: [cont’d.]

The council’s concern over the issue comes as city agencies are scrambling to find ways to cut 2 percent of their current fiscal year budget and six percent in the next fiscal year. Those rollbacks are expected to help the city save $2 billion dollars overall.

As of this past Monday, Oakland had spent $2.4M dealing with Occupy Oakland and Portland, OR had spent $450K just for this past weekend’s activities. Cincinnati has spent $128K in overtime. Jon Walker at FDL Action also asked yesterday where the money is coming from for these police actions.

Yet somehow, cities such as Louisville, KY have managed to co-exist with the #Occupy Louisville folks, granting them permits through December 31. Louisville’s mayor visited the #Occupy Louisville site in early October when one of my cousins was there – and he did it as a private citizen to see what the fuss was all about. No photo-op, no heavy duty police presence, just a man and his daughters. Today’s Louisville Courier-Journal has a nice long article about the peacefulness of Occupy Louisville.

Albany, NY is having its own back-and-forth between the #Occupy Albany folks and local politicians. A few weeks ago, the Albany PD refused to make arrests:

CommunityMy FDL

Occupy: Is this a wise use of resources?

Author’s Note: Please take a few minutes and Join the Firedoglake Membership Program today. FDL provides the tools that help me and others extend our reach with our rants so we need to support FDL when we can.

I, as have many of us, have been following the various #Occupy efforts with some interest. News coverage asking the plaintive whine “but what do they WANT?” combined with all the various attempts to make it all just a bunch of DFHs, druggies, and so on. (Rather defeated when even the Washington Post has articles like yesterday (Wednesday, November 16) where they lede with an admission that maybe the #Occupy folks did have some points in mind after all):

The movement began as a protest of major economic and political issues, but lately the most divisive issue has become the protests themselves. The Occupy Wall Street encampments that formed across the country to spotlight crimes committed on Wall Street have become rife with problems of their own. There are sanitation hazards and drug overdoses, even occasional deaths and sexual assaults.

So, in this one article, the Post manages to paint the original effort as valid but now has lost its way. In the overall online world there is an oft seen type of commenter known as a Concern Troll. That quoted paragraph from the Post seems to fit the definition to a tee.

Let’s examine this a bit though. One of the themes of people like Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo as well as many other mayors and governors around the country is how things are so bad economically that the states must cut back in so many services, laying off teachers, first responders, cutting Medicaid eligibility, rolling back unemployment benefits, and generally destroying both the social safety net and wages and benefits for state workers. Yet here it is, New York City can incur millions of dollars in overtime costs going after unarmed, mostly peaceful protestors (according to this from WNYC it was over $5M by late October), yet city agencies are scrambling for funds: (more…)

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dakine01

dakine01

Small town Kentucky country boy lived all over the country. Currently in Ruskin, FL