Occupy Wall Street’s May Day festivities came and went yesterday without too much mayhem, which has caused the mainstream media to decide that the demonstration was a “dud.” The New York Post went so far as to call the day of protest a “big joke,” and the Associated Press made the claim that only “hundreds” of activists “across the country” participated in the demonstrations.
Umm…we were there — there were slightly more (several thousand more) protesters than the “hundreds” the AP claims, and they weren’t all “bums,” as the Post has described the activists.
We won’t deny that many of the activists looked like they just crawled out of a dumpster, and their message (or lack thereof), methods, and personal hygiene could use some work. But in addition to the unwashed masses, there were a lot of serious (bathed) people with legitimate complaints who took to the streets yesterday.
Yesterday wasn’t just OWS’ day, it was a day for labor unions, immigration activists, and several other interest groups to voice their complaints — and they did so en-masse.
We spoke with dozens of protesters yesterday who weren’t just complaining that somebody else has money, they want it, and sleeping on a sidewalk is how they plan to get it. Many of the groups that protested yesterday have a focused complaint and a plan to fix it.
For example, immigration activists’ problem is that it’s not fair to boot people out of the country who are productive members of society but are here illegally. Their solution: a pathway to citizenship like the DREAM Act.
Regardless of how you feel about immigration — or what the Post has to say about — the activists have a legitimate complaint. Additionally, they have a solution.
Unfortunately, the activists with serious complaints and legitimate arguments get lumped in with the dipshits who are biting cops, dumping buckets of feces in public places, and strolling around New York in Halloween costumes.
Susan Ostrowski, a 55-year-old woman who works at a Wall Street insurance company has some sound advice, telling the Post “[The occupiers]
should find jobs and protest on their time off. They should get
involved politically, register to vote rather than sitting and sleeping
on the steps in sleeping bags.”
See some photos we snapped of the non-“bums” below.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 2, 2012