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Mailbag: Occupy Movement is truly heroic

November 17, 2011

Shame on you, Cindy ("Canyon To Cove: Protesting the pointless protests", Nov. 11). We are so often in the same camp.

But for you to criticize and demean the Occupy Movement as overly cozy and unfocused is over-simplifying a heroic effort on the part of many people. Take off your rose-colored glasses when comparing it to the good old days of protest from the 1960s, when you risked "arrest, fire hoses, rubber bullets and pepper-spray."

You know why there is way less police brutality? YouTube, for one. For another, police are way more media savvy and cautious now. Also, because these protests were deliberately designed to be non-violent, with a civilized and educational discourse that the media couldn't characterize as fringe or extremist behavior.

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How very smart and Gandhi-esque of them!

I'm curious as to how you've determined there are so many "people who take up the cudgels on issues they know so little about and cannot articulate." I've been to both Occupy Wall Street and Occupy LA, and I found hundreds of passionate, informed, articulate activists who are seeking fundamental change. It's a groundswell that has taken root in dozens of cities around the country — and the world.

How can they all be so uninformed and "lacking in hard-edged logic"? How simple and elegant is the 99% message? How clear is the call to move your money out of the major banks, or change the way elections are funded with private — corporate — money.

Of course there isn't a single issue like a war with a clear solution (end it), so some of the messages get diluted — especially with a media bent on mocking them. But you, a card-carrying '60s activist, should be heartwarmed over the action people are taking rather than condescending because there are food donations and Porta-potties.

You say, "Not that many of us understand modern economics and how it came to pass that the middle class … has been so fractured." But that's exactly what the movement is articulating: that corporate greed and malfeasance, along with their co-oping of government through donations and lobbyists, has siphoned jobs and money away from the middle class. And people are finally waking up and taking to the streets.

It's a siren call to all those who have climbed the ladder of success and then pulled it up behind them that this won't be tolerated anymore. I'm so proud of this moment in our history.

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