When I read the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were unfocused and without a coherent message, I took a closer look at them in Philadelphia, and disvovered some were disheveled street persons looking for handouts, and one a graduate school political science major spouting Marxist teachings.
They represented only one percent.
The 99 percent of the other protestors were mostly young, highly educated unemployed or underemployed men and women who got tired of the debt-ceiling fiasco and took to the streets to mobilize against the Tea Party followers. (can we spell “GOP leaders” in Congress?)
There were poor people — mostly men — who gladly accepted used pillows and blankets passed out by protestors who cared not if someone’s domicile was a center city vent. The young people provided them with dignity, and suggested places the poor to seek assistance, as well as directing them to a nearby Quaker meeting hall that opened its doors for all to use its bathrooms.
One leader told me how to prevent police from using a statement “coerced” from a would-be arrested protestor. “Write the inititals “VC” next to your signature,” the young, newly bearded young man earnestly told a few of us gathered in the shadow of the William Penn statue looking down from atop Philadelphia’s city hall building.
“VC” I said to myself. To me, it meant the “Viet Cong.” Who in their right mind would expect some Criminal Court judge to suppress a statement upon seeing those initials? I practiced law for 20 years in the City of Brotherly Love, and never once came across such a thing, be it in a courtroom or a law book. This was just something a youth not yet experienced in the world seem to think would work here because he read it in some theoretical class book. (I dismissed his advice, because “You don’t bullshit a bullshiter” is what my daddy told me while growing up in Brewerytown, North Philadelphia.)
Come to think of it, I had no idea why one of Philly’s finest would want to squeeze a confession out of some protestor. I mean, a cop can testify to what he saw, and if someone broke the law, one need not present a confession for a conviction.
These are but two of the two thousand better examples of what Occupy Wall Streeet has helped to inspire in my little part of world. Let me share with you some protest signs that are really making their way to the public via these “rabble-rousers.” (See “These Are the Times That Try Men’s Souls” for my favorite American Founder agitator: http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/blog/692.htm)