Not really looking for applause, but am curious as to how I can recommend someone for it. Anywhos...here goes..
Based upon a true story. Some of the story is based off snippets from a earlier post.
I got up the other day and logged on. The news was on talking about the OWS movement in New York and how it was starting to spring up in different
cities. I had talked and debated others previously on-line as to where the movement was going. Many had their ideas as to what the protests were
about, often at odds with one another and others admitted they really didn’t know, but felt that they had to do something.
Then a poster challenged me. “What are YOU doing?” they asked.
Well, being retired and bored at the time, I thought, “They’re right, I can’t really form a decent opinion until I go and see for myself.”
So I called a buddy, told him to grab his camcorder and off we went.
As we pulled into the parking lot downtown, my calipers started whining. “That’s just great,” I thought, “if these people are behind fixing
the infrastructure, I’ll support that. The roads are terrible here.”
As I approached the rally I could hear whistles and cars honking their horns. The Police chopper was buzzing overhead and it looked like there was a
person hanging out of it filming…or looking through Binos anyways.
We rounded the corner by the Federal Building and there it was, the OWS Cleveland rally and I must admit that I am mildly impressed. I expected more
of a love-in, hippie type crowd that usually hangs around Willard Park during events. Nothing wrong with that, they have their thing and I have mine.
I was wrong.
After realizing that the camcorder didn’t work, I struck out into the crowd and talked to quite a few of them. I would estimate the crowd size to be
200-250. I always was polite and identified myself as a individual with conservative leanings who was curious about the movement. I was treated with
respect and kindness. Not once was I belittled or demeaned.
I hesitate to call the people I ran into protesters as they all seemed like normal Clevelanders to me.
Anyways, there were the standard Guy Faulkes masks here and there. I asked one individual where he had gotten his.
“On-line.” Was the reply.
“Do you realize that Time-Warner gets a share of every mask sold?” I asked.
He laughed, “Of course, everything we buy for the most part has ties to big business.” He actually looked amused as if he knew the next question.
“If we bring down the corporations, do you realize the chaos that would bring to your average person?”
“We don’t want to bring them down…that’s a misconception. We want them to change the way they do business.” At this point, he lifted his
mask. He looked to me like he was earnest enough.
“And how do you want to have them change the way they do business?”
“Well, truth be told, we don’t know yet…we’re still working on that one.” He smiled, shook my hand and thanked me for asking questions and
off he went.
I ran into a small group of Tea Party folk and introduced myself.
“May I ask why you are here?”
An older veteran said that they were there due to the fact that the message was similar, smaller government, less taxes, a livable wage and they
supported the mostly young folk there. Solidarity.
“What about the unions?” I asked since Cleveland is a heavily populated union town.
“Oh, them? No one is paying them much mind.”
There were two obvious Union reps at the rally and from my observation, what he said was true. They wore Union shirts and one carried a Union placard.
But for the most part, they seemed to be politely tolerated. Color me amazed.
The Union guy without a placard refused to talk to me; he was polite but nonetheless refused. I wasn’t the media.
Yep, there were stoners there and Anarchists as well. There were also about ten to twelve vagrants as well who the protesters also ignored. That left
me with a melancholy feeling seeing that. Many of the signs were confusing, One was so sixties with neon colors and words that wrapped around each
other I had to ask the fellow to interpret it for me. I didn’t understand his double speak, so I believe he was either stoned or a politician
undercover. I nodded politely and wondered if he could see my quizzical expression.
But there were others as well that were quite succinct and to the point.
But it was a nice day and everything was peaceful. The organizers kept repeating to remember that the Police and other Safety forces were part of the
99% as well and not give them grief. Also to pick up after themselves and to leave the park clean. It seemed to me that the protesters were
I’ve been back once since and the crowd was smaller and less coherent than before. Lot’s of people bickering on how they should spin the message.
Of course, “Their” message was all important. Less older people there as well. Same vagrants, still being ignored.
I remember thinking, “This is how a movement looks when it dies while being born.”
As I left, I couldn't help but think that this will be consigned to the dust bin of history once winter sets in.
edit on 13-10-2011 by TDawgRex
because: (no reason given)
edit on 13/10/11 by masqua because: Added [#Occ] for contest entry