Occupy: We are not Hippies, Drunks, Vagrants, Homeless, or Lazy

Hateful and bigoted comments appearing in the Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News comments following articles about the Occupy movement are shameful and have no place in the America I believe in.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media continually focus on the camps and the people in them who fit certain stereotypes, and they are constantly on the lookout for bad behavior by a few, arrests, and police brutality.

I have been documenting the movement in Maine since the beginning with a focus, almost exclusively, on those of us who do not camp out in public places, but come from all walks of life. Most are well-educated, working people who love the country but don’t like the scene. This movement is far bigger than the encampments. In NYC, for example, there are only a few hundred people camping out, but tens of thousands taking to the streets to demonstrate against a political and financial system that has run amok.

It is amazing how those same people who hurl vicious slurs against the people who make up the Occupy movement and are exercising their Constitutional Rights (Article I of the Bill of Rights) to peaceable assembly, freedom of speech, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,

  • don’t like the partisan gridlock in Washington and the fact that our representatives are all bought and paid for by corporations and lobbies and do not represent us (Congress’ approval rating is at 9%);
  • agree that our political system is dysfunctional and broken
  • agree that Wall St. has forced the economy to the brink of disaster;
  • they are outraged that the bailout money was used to reward their executives with million dollar bonuses;
  • they agree that hedge funds, junk bonds, derivatives, Ponzi schemes, and other financial gimmicks have cheated them out of their 501Ks and pensions;
  • they agree that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have added billions to the national debt;
  • and they are concerned that unemployment is hovering just below 10% nationally

These are the main reasons why this movement will not go away until these crimes against the American people are eliminated. On the contrary, it continues to grow exponentially every day. In fact, this movement has grown faster and spread wider than the Civil Rights Movement and the protests against the war in Vietnam. This movement will not go away until We The People take back our country and restore it based on the Constitution which guarantees life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. The Constitution is based on the belief that true democracy is concerned for the common good and not the interests of any one person or group of persons.

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