Occupy Protests: A Clear Message Sent? & My Thoughts On The U.C. Davis Pepper Spraying Incident

When all is said and done, my estimation of the answer to that question is two simple directives:

1. THE REMOVAL OF THE 1% FROM THEIR POSITION OF CONTROL OVER THE PROCESSES OF DEMOCRACY – its governance, its economy and the people who live and practice it;

2. THE CONSTRAINT AND TIGHT LEASHING OF THE CORPORATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND POLITICAL PROCESSES BOUGHT BY THE 1%, AND THROUGH WHICH THEY EXERCISE THEIR CONTROL AND MANIPULATE OUR SOCIETY FOR THEIR BENEFIT;

That’s it. A simple direct statement about the primary mission of the Occupy America movement. Those are the chief obstacles in the way of any re-envisionment of our society as a flourishing, healthy and sane project on behalf of those who live in it and the generations that will be born into it.

Everything else, the issues, specific changes needed, political leaders, economic structures are all stymied by those two obstacles alone. We simply cannot advance, or end the horrors of living under the rule of the 1% until those missions are fulfilled.

All else waits on OCCUPY fulfilling that mission. Not that we shouldn’t keep to all our other advocacy and protests. But their ability to secure their agenda – whether it be healthcare, an end to war and poverty, social justice or anything else – cannot happen until Occupy completes its mission.

After that, after Occupy has done its job and taken back control of the government and the economy, can the principles, agendas, platforms, priorities and critical repairs to our society be undertaken with reasonable expectation of success. Till then, the more closely we stick to the basic mission of why we are gathering to challenge the status quo, and petition our government for a redress of grievances, should be our first and foremost thought.

If we keep it simple and on message, to those targets and that purpose, I think we will find that we have the support and inclusion of the entire 99% – from the Tea Party to Libertarians, from Republicans not in the 1%, to ambivalent Democrats; from capitalists to dedicated socialists. They will differ (often passionately) about methods, tactics and future directions. But I don’t think any, not one, will bolt from those two purposes. Not unless they belong to the 1% and simply wish to cling to their wealth and power at everyone else’s expense.

– redslider, member of OccupySacto Forum

Generally, every protest has a clear goal; to hopefully turn a situation in their favor. Kids and teens alike protest against homework and tests. Supporters of a specific group or person protest to try to get that individual out of jail. However, it seems a new kind of protest has been stealing the spotlight.

Ever since the Occupy protest on Wall Street, the idea has seemingly spread all over the nation. Some protests’ motives are crystal clear; others not so much. Motives for “Occupy” range from preventing home foreclosures to protesting the costs of education. However, as one columnist views the movement, the methods of protest seem to be cutting off the daily process of the rest of society.

Now, obviously, there are two sides to a story. Putting myself into the shoes of an Occupy demonstrator, I clearly want my voice to be heard. I will resist, at all costs, being evicted out of my apartment in which I have lived for all these months or years. Or, these slashes in education are totally unfair! We want to do something about it instead of just talking the talk.

When I read the “1%” part of their objective, I thought “Oh, maybe this is directed towards our government. Maybe it’s directed towards Congress.” because clearly it said, and I quote

 THE REMOVAL OF THE 1% FROM THEIR POSITION OF CONTROL OVER THE PROCESSES OF DEMOCRACY – its governance, its economy and the people who live and practice it;

However, the columnist that I mentioned, Dave Lister of Oregon Live newspaper, says these Occupy demonstrators “misdirect their anger at the nebulous ‘1 percent’ rather than the fraction of 1 percent, the members of Congress…” I guess I may have misunderstood the first objective. Whatever the case may be, we can certainly all agree on one thing. While all these demonstration may have been very well politically motivated, it prevents other Americans from receiving their pay checks and getting home to their loved ones safely.

You know, this kind of does remind me of the protests at U.C. Davis. The only difference is I’m actually on their side. Now, yes I does certainly suck to have a tuition hike added to the already growing budget crisis in the education section. But, when I heard of the pepper spraying incident occurring at the protests when the protests were peaceful, I really started to feel their pain. That’s just a downright outrage. I mean, come on. They’re trying to achieve a simple goal of raising their voice in hopes of actually doing something against the college tuition raise. There’s no act of violence intended. And I thought, pepper spraying was illegal when used in ways other than self-defense.

Also, according to this video, it seems like the riot officers were telling the students that they were going to be shot at, as the students right after retaliated and chanted in unison with “Don’t shoot students!” It’s really shocking to me that something like this would actually be brought up. I mean, they’re sitting harmlessly together in a group. And what I’m about to say here will probably be very controversial, but what the hell is this? A college campus turned concentration camp? Oh, so they’re going to shoot people that have only raised their voices in such innocent methods?

Yes, I understand. You’re the police and you’re supposed to protect yourself against these supposedly “violent” protesters. Rules were obviously put into society for a reason. Okay, forget about rules for now. I thought the job of the police was to relieve a situation, and not harm the citizens and cause a public outcry. And, it still boggles my mind that shooting U.C. Davis students for freedom of speech was actually brought up. Come on. Even the youth know the difference between wrong and right.

Thankfully, U.C. Davis chancellor Linda Katehi apologized for the pepper spraying incident. Some may be able to forgive her for such a thing, but most won’t. No matter how tearful she may still be, she should’ve known that what she ordered campus police to do is just wrong.

4 thoughts on “Occupy Protests: A Clear Message Sent? & My Thoughts On The U.C. Davis Pepper Spraying Incident

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