Infuriated lower Manhattan residents went ballistic on Zuccotti Park protesters at a chaotic Community Board 1 meeting tonight while blasting politicians for allowing the siege to continue without any end in sight.
“They are defecating on our doorsteps,” fumed Catherine Hughes, a member of Community Board 1 and a stay at home mom who has the misfortune of living one block from the chaos. “A lot of people are very frustrated. A lot of people are concerned about the safety of our kids.”
Fed up homeowners said that they’ve been subjected to insults and harassment as they trek to their jobs each morning. “The protesters taunt people who are on their way to work,” said James Fernandez, 51, whose apartment overlooks the park.
Board member Paul Cantor said that residents are fed up with the incessant racket that emanates from the protest at all hours. “It’s mostly a noise issue,” he said. If people can’t sleep and children can’t sleep because the protesters are banging drums then that’s a problem.”
“They have to have some parameters,” said Tricia Joyce, also a board member. “That doesn’t mean the protests have to stop. I’m hoping we can strike a balance on parameters because this could be a long term stay.”
The line to get into the standing room only meeting spilled out of the board’s office and onto the street outside where Zuccotti sympathizers sparred with angry residents. One elderly woman told a protester to stop screaming and was met with an even hgiher volume. “Get some earplugs!” retorted David Spano. “This is the street. I can say whatever I want! I can’t calm down, I’ve been struggling for 30 years!”
Seriously, OWS needs to hold some classes on public relations. But when you have to tell people “Don’t pee or poop in public” you’re not dealing with rocket scientists.
Over the years, Democrats have suffered from many stereotypes — big-city bosses, prairie populists, New Deal eggheads, Great Society planners. But the most destructive Democratic image has been the theatrical, radical protester of the late 1960s. Many journalists remember the Yippies, the Battle of Michigan Avenue, the Students for a Democratic Society and the Chicago Seven with nostalgia.
Most Americans, however, viewed this social movement with alarm. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan became two of the most successful politicians of their time by siding with authority and propriety against disorder and radicalism. It was one of the main reasons blue-collar Democrats became susceptible to Republican appeals. When a student protester confronted Reagan’s car and shouted, “We are the future,” the then-governor of California wrote out in response: “I’ll sell my bonds.” The silent majority cheered.
Democrats — who took a generation to escape the taint of countercultural excess — now seem willing to risk that association again. And there are few things more powerful or damaging than confirming a preexisting, negative political image. A skilled political figure such as Bill Clinton might find a way to identify with the frustrations of Occupy Wall Street while distancing himself from its extremes. Obama does not play in that league.
The reaction to Occupy Wall Street reveals a gap of perceptions in America. Many liberal politicians, along with many in the media, see tent cities and clashes with the police as evidence of idealism. Many others, however, define idealism as something different from squatting in a park — as voting, walking precincts, volunteering in the community, supporting good causes and persuading their neighbors. These citizens may even share the discontents of Occupy Wall Street while rejecting its methods and culture.
Three Wickets provided a link to this piece by Charles Hugh Smith about the organizers of OWS:
I am honored to have long been in email correspondence with David DeGraw of Amped Status, one of the key initial organizers of the Occupy Wall Street movement. As a result of our mutual support society/correspondence, I am also honored to be included in an email group of people I consider the leading lights in the movement to restore democracy and fiscal sanity to this nation, people like Matt Taibbi, Barry Ritholtz, William Black, Max Keiser, Dylan Ratigan, Karl Denninger, Yves Smith, Michael Hudson, Nomi Prins, David Cay Johnston, Paul Craig Roberts, “George Washington” and Tyler Durden, to name some whose work you have probably read.
Notice anything about that list of names?