Monday, December 05, 2011

Open letter to the Occupy movement

Photo by Michelle Gachet

Jack Bogdanski's open letter to the Occupy Portland movement also applies to the Occupy SF folks. If they can't evolve into something more than a public nuisance and a public health hazard, they need to give it up. 

Dear "members" of Occupy Portland:

What little credibility you guys may have had before this weekend, you pretty much lost with your pathetic "Thriller for White People" dance party on Saturday night in the Park Blocks. You kept a bunch of elderly and disabled people awake all night, you cost the taxpayers more hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you slowed down and otherwise screwed up downtown holiday activities for all sorts of folks whom you purport to represent.

What does that have to do with economic injustice and corporate crime? Admit it---nothing, really. One of you was on the tube last night talking about "reflecting" on your "successes." Exactly what in heaven's name would those be? You've showed that a lot of people are angry---wonderful, that was six weeks ago. What else have you done? Nothing productive, as far as I can see.

If you want to party on the cheap, find a dive bar somewhere with no cover charge and a decent sound system, and dance the night away. If you want to camp out, there are many campgrounds in the region that are empty this time of year. And if you really want to deliver a political message---which looks more improbable by the week---march around all you want from 7 in the morning until 9 at night. On the sidewalk.

At the beginning, I was glad to see you out there; I had been surprised that you hadn't appeared sooner. I didn't care about the money spent on police overtime, because sometimes democracy is messy. But you've had quite a while to come up with a workable agenda, and it hasn't appeared.

You want a just and fair society---how long do you think that will take? My guess is 30 years at a minimum. Are you going to be out in the park blocks doing the "Thriller" dance for that long?

America has a short attention span, friends, and you're missing your window. In a few more weeks, no one will be watching you on TV, no matter how much you act up. If you're unhappy about how the cops treat you now, you're really not going to like how they act when nobody cares any more.

There'll always be some anarchist in a mask and a blue Mohawk out in the streets wanting to tear everything down. But how much of your life are you going to waste gyrating around getting nowhere?

Get this thing focused, or give it up.

Jack Bogdanski

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