The Occupy events that have unfurled across America over the weekend are disheartening, for many reasons. Most troubling is the crime that has broken out in some of the tent cities. And the disease in others.
I've been following the Occupy Albany movement since its inception. The core philosophy at the movement's heart is First Amendment rights. These are indeed sacred. We should also consider the comfort, needs and safety of the Occupy protestors. And we need to consider the position Governor Andrew Cuomo has found himself in. I don't believe he deliberately painted himself into a corner. A man of such character no doubt identifies with the rights of the people.
We are seeing many of the conditions and the spirit at the tent cities across the nation worsening. While free speech is an essential right, I wonder if both sides cannot atleast try to reach a compromise, an understanding. The 99% situation has been a long time coming: it began with the devaluation of our currency after 1965. The fix may not come easy: it may take a realignment of the way government is conducted. The leaders of today inherited the current state of affairs. To change it will take courage, and time.
I am hoping that Occupy will come to a peaceful conclusion in Albany, even if it means taking down the tents during winter, and re-establishing the Occupy compound in the spring. And how about more dialog between Occupiers and politicians? Leaders, why not stop by the camp and meet with the 99-ers? And dear Occupiers, perhaps had you been thankful that the city government and the D-A were on your side, perhaps you could have persuaded the Governor to allow assembly in Lafayette Park - you know the old saying: you can lure more flies with honey, than with vinegar - or something like that.
A CBS6 news poll tonight saw about 70% of the viewers think protesters should be prosecuted for staying in Lafayette Park past curfew. That tells me that the negative publicity that is being generated out of some of the other Occupied cities is giving some folks cause for alarm. Let's hope Albany is better than that! After all, there really is lots to do, to make things right.
PS: I just noticed this is my 5,011th post. That's a heck of a lot of material! I really typed all that?