The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Letters to the Editor for Nov. 2

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Occupiers justifiably upset by an economic system gone awry Re Oct. 30 Viewpoint, “‘Occupiers’ mistakenly blame whole class for actions of a few”: The Occupy Wall Street movement has been variously described as a mob, as anarchists or as a bunch of aggrieved unemployed students. In the Viewpoint, the columnist [Norman Perazzo] even implied a comparison with Nazis! Instead I believe they protest the widespread economic injustices resulting from failed governance, marketplace corruption and regulatory ...

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November 2, 2011
6:26 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

We have six Police Chiefs that really don't do much. One of them when asked "why don't you retire and enjoy life" said, "where else can I make 100K per year to do nothing". Well Gary McCarthy gave all of these same chiefs a 20K per year raise. Where is the Gazette on this? Why do we need SIX chiefs and a commiissioner? How many MUCH NEEDED police can we put on the streers with that much money saved?

The SPD is working with dangerously low staffing levels and crime is out of control. I know and speak to many officers at all levels in Schenectady and they all say the same thing, they have ZERO time for proactive policing. Lets get rid of all of these chiefs and load the srtreets instead with actual officers to deal with this crime.

November 2, 2011
3:14 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Dear Elected Representatives,

Please pass a law that says the Gazette has to use their brains during the screening process before they print a letter to the editor.

Thanks for the idea Dealy

November 2, 2011
7:17 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I think it's important to recognize that the people committing the acts of violence, or even non-violent criminal acts, are not the majority of the protesters. I don't think they should even be grouped in the same category as the true Occupy protesters. Let me explain why.

The true protesters are down there (and other places) because they are irritated and angry with the way things are, in particular with the economy. I am personally of the opinion that they need a more focused, clear goal (or mission statement) in order to be heard, but at least they are showing the government that they don't like how things are going.

Then there are the people that I believe Mr. Philipson is talking about. There are a wide variety of them. Some are down there because, hey, it's a great excuse for a party, for having casual sex in the park, or for getting drunk. Some believe in the cause, but are going about "protesting" the wrong way - throwing rocks through windows, beating up on people, impeding traffic and preventing people from getting to work. These things are not peacable, and cannot be considered legal protest. There are those taking advantage of the large crowds of protesters, and the relative obscurity, anonymity, and camouflage it provides, to commit violent crimes such as assault and rape. None of these people are true Occupy protesters, but are using the situation to their advantage for their personal ulterior motives. They are the individuals the media focuses on, because they are different than the mob of protesters around them, whose actions are that of a united front, which is difficult for the media to do much in way of a coherent story.

Of course, there are also a large number of protesters who are down there protesting because they want to "fight the Man," even if they don't actually know what the protest is about, but I don't think those are the people Mr. Philipson was referring to, either.

Mr. Philipson, I would assume (and perhaps I shouldn't) that you would agree that the right to peacable protest is a right afforded every American. If you are a supporter of the Tea Party, which from what I've been able to garner from people who assert themselves as supporters of that party is supposed to be in favor of protecting the rights of the American people, I must conclude you should be in favor of people exercising the right to peacably protest, yes? This right applies to those who agree with your viewpoint, as well as to those who don't, with which I'm sure you would also agree.

You're correct in that those who have strayed from peacable protest need to be stopped, but just because some people who claim to be a part of the group are bad apples, doesn't mean we chop down the whole tree.

November 4, 2011
3:58 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I am no supporter of the tea party - and I have no problem with protests of any sort. That said, there is a difference between protest and inhabiting a public park. Most areas have some ordinances about erecting a tent ... let alone bringing in cooking devices and heaters.

If the folks want to stay up all night protesting, or even sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag, they should be all means do so. But when you put up shelters ... well:

Are you really protesting as you sleep?

November 4, 2011
8:34 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

robbump, you make an excellent point. I do have a problem with the protesters being in Washington Park after ten, when the park is legally closed. Just because Mayor Jennings kowtowed and chickened out by telling protesters that it's ok to break the law doesn't make it so. Protesting ceases being legal protest when you break unrelated laws to do it. All it does is promote inequality: it basically says that the park is legally closed to everyone after 10, except for protesters, who for some reason get special rights.

The other problem I have is them asking the government to provide them with sleeping bags and hot plates and such. You can't call the government an evil entity AND ask them for special favors. If you can't deal with the sacrifices, or supply your own supplies, then stay home.