I see protesters walking in the street and refusing to get on the sidewalk when told to by the police. I see them get arrested.
I see a lot of people with a knee-jerk reaction that the cops are always wrong. I’ve written at least a dozen posts over the years condemning the excessive use of force by cops. My first post on OWS was such a post.
If the NYPD was the bunch of goons and thugs some people keep trying to portray them as, they would have cleared out Zuccotti Park weeks ago. They wouldn’t even need nightsticks. All it would take is a couple tear gas grenades set off upwind.
I have no problem with people protesting. But when did it become progressive dogma that you HAVE to break the law when you protest?
The photograph shows a young man at Occupy Wall Street tackling a policeman. This is not in any way the norm, Elliott says—and we assume that he’s right. Elliott goes into some detail about the protestors’ good intentions. That said, does any of this sound familiar?
ELLIOTT (10/17/11): “When you have such a grassroots movement, those people are going to come,” said Ted Actie, one of the early participants in Occupy, when I asked him about the incident. “You can’t do anything about it. We can tell the media that’s not Occupy Wall Street. 99 percent of it is non-violent.”
This sort of thing was said, again and again, during various tea party protests.
We agree with what Actie says. As you may recall, several people in our tribe weren’t quite buying it then.
Funny, but I don’t remember any violence at Tea Party rallies.
This exercise is meant, in part, to provide a comparison to the crowds that gathered for the first widespread Tea Party protests on April 15, 2009, for which I adopted a similar approach and came up with an estimate of at least 300,000 protesters across the country.
Saturday’s Occupy protests were probably smaller than that. Over all, I was able to find estimates of crowd sizes in about 150 American cities, ranging from the thousands of the protesters that turned out in New York to the roughly 10 who turned out in Juneau, Alaska — or the one protester who represented the movement in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Nevertheless, based on the median estimates for the cities, I arrived at an overall total of about 70,000 protesters who were documented as having been active on Saturday throughout the United States.
According to my calculations there were over four times as many Tea Baggers as Fleabaggers. There are over 300,000,000 people in this country. 99% of 300,000,000 is 297,000,000, not 70,000.