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Forum Post: Eye Witness Account of Five Separate OWS Sites

Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 11, 2011, 6:01 p.m. EST by wouldstronglypreferjustice (35) from Portland, OR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I want to report on what I have personally seen and experienced at five separate OWS sites.

Being one who travels for business throughout the US, who has been objectively intrigued by many aspects of the movement, and who wants to develop a perspective based in fact, not in media spin, I have personally visited five OWS sites including Manhattan, Philadelphia, DC, Portland and Dallas. At each site, I have spent a couple of hours and made an effort to speak with, and hear from as many individuals as possible. Here is what I have seen:

  1. A consistent presence of articulate, educated activism. While the issues are varied, there is a wealth of people who are informed, motivated and able to clearly express their criticism of the state of our nation.

  2. A surprising degree of order and safety, but I would say that I feel it is tenuous. At no time, at any site, did I feel unsafe or intimidated. Sure, there were homeless and otherwise "marginal" citizens at the sites, but in my observation they were far in the minority. And, for anyone who frequents downtown areas as I do, their presence at the OWS sites was not especially remarkable. In addition, the sites themselves were surprisingly clean and orderly.

That said, I am in agreement with Mayor Sam Adams' decision to evict the OWS in my home town of Portland, OR. From what I have read, that site has taken a turn for the worse, with two recent overdoses, drug dealing and instances of vandalism. That's just not acceptable and if OWS wants to be effective, that behavior will have to be stopped.

  1. These people are hard workers. Everywhere, volunteers were working, serving, organizing, building. At each site, there was a consistent schedule of workshops, education and resources for the public. I totally disagree with the thought that these sites are filled with lazy do-nothings who just want a handout. .
  2. Since my visits have been spread out over 6 weeks or so, I have found an increasing specificity to the issues that drive the movement. By far, the most common are 1. The corrupting influence of big money in our elections. Everywhere, this was the #1 issue raised. 2. The lack of accountability for the financial sector's contribution to the financial crisis. I would also add that there is very little talk about scrapping our capitalist system. On the contrary, I met many professional, educated people who want compete as individuals on a fair playing field. It's not capitalism, it's crony capitalism that drives the anger.

  3. A consistent love of America. There were USA flags everywhere - and treated with respect as best I could tell. Moreso, a lot of discussion about our constitution, founding fathers, major legislation, important historical events and the ideals of our country. These people definitely don't hate our country, they are just angry and peaking out against what they see as how it has been corrupted.

In closing, I am as troubled as anyone about the reports of violence, crime and unsanitary conditions. If those become more prevalent, I won't continue to support the movement. But, those things have not been my observation. My recommendation to others would be, however, that the mainstream media has an agenda to discredit the movement and their information is based on exceptions and fringe elements, not the rule.

Respectfully submitted, an OWS supporter from Portland, OR



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[-] 2 points by Windsofchange (1044) 12 years ago

Yup, and they are using it to discredit anyone who supports OWS.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/09/elizabeth-warren-karl-rove_n_1085180.html I came across this video today and boy was my blood boiling. However, this is how the news channels have been portraying us for sometime. It saddens me that people are quick to believe propaganda and could careless about the truth.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know the OWS movement and the protestors who are passionate for what they stand for. Others can learn from you.

[-] 1 points by MiKEYD (55) 12 years ago

Awesome report. Apparently there is a whole different cadre of players at the protests than the folks who frequent this forum. I suppose that should be unsurprising.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Thanks for the report Occupy Detroit was small the day I visited, But I felt as you did.

The first step is to get the money and influence out of the political picture.

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 12 years ago

How do you think the brainwashing of the American people happens? Main stream media! Most are to lazy to research and find out for themselves. The are use to giving away control of their lives to others. Thank you for this post from a 64 year old supporter!

[-] 1 points by Windsofchange (1044) 12 years ago

Yes. Thank you for speaking the truth.

[-] 0 points by pinker (586) 12 years ago

Actually, most people don't even get their "facts" from main stream media - at least the young ones -they get it from Facebook and places like this and take it for fact just because some person said it.

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 12 years ago

You may be right!