Those in the Occupy Wall Street protests have The Shad’s sympathies, for the most part. I have no use for the warmed-over, Vietnam demonstrators who would protest anything as long as it’s a popular protest. There are whack-jobs and slackers in every crowd. The movement has taken heat from the media for not having a cohesive message other than Wall Street is greedy and the wealth gap is getting bigger. I’m not sure anything else is needed. They’re also criticized with the “they can afford to be here during the day only because they don’t have jobs” line. Well, isn’t that kind of the point? The Occupy folks have a point—the Wall Street big wigs were bailed out by the taxpayers only to stick their thumbs in our eyes by continuing to pay their CEO millions in bonuses while hoarding capitol funds. They are not the job creators. In fact, the so-called “job creators” cut more than eight million jobs in this country in this economic downturn.
So, the Occupiers have the support of many Americans. In fact, as Hartford Courant Rick Green columnist points out, a Time magazine poll shows 54 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the protests. So they are content to have the support of the public, police to keep the crowd orderly, city governments to provide sanitation and emergency medical responders, and have their voices heard in the media, right? Guess again. Some protest groups in the movement find it necessary to do patently stupid things, losing the support of many who generally support them, The Shad included.
Here in Boston, where the home office is located, protestors weren’t satisfied with their spot on the grass in Dewey Square—a high profile spot. They thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. That’s because it is. It’s the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. The demonstrators wanted to make it a brown-way. The Boston PD warned them to move off the greenway and back to Dewey. The greenway had just underground very expensive work. Sorry guys. I feel your pain. But I can’t get behind any group that destroys what belongs to all of the people. City officials felt the same way. BPD warned the demonstrators they needed to move by a certain time. They refused so they were forcibly removed. 100 of them were arrested. And believe me, the last thing the Boston police wants to do is move a bunch of people off and area and take their tents for them—an unfortunate and unnecessary inconvenience.
The occupiers also threatened to march and shut down the Charlestown Bridge. Mayor Tom Menino expressed sympathy, even support, for what the Occupiers stood for. But he also realized that nearly some 600,000 other people live in the city and 7.6 million live in Greater Boston (the so-called Combined Statistical Area). I draw the line at protestors who keep other people from getting to the precious jobs they have. The Shad is generally not a protestor, physically speaking. I have rarely had the occasion to “take to the streets.” I find it more effective to write or talk about it in the media—that’s my Dewey Square.
The bottom line is that I’m very disappointed, Occupiers. You ruined a perfectly good protest.