Quick! Did you hear about the big riot at Occupy San Antonio? Oh, wait, there haven’t been any riots at Occupy San Antonio. In fact, it’s been so mellow there that the very first arrest even remotely associated with OSA was done at the request of the Occupiers, who wanted the local constabulary to arrest someone who’d been drinking and was shoving around his girlfriend off-site while drunk.
But wait, what about the shootings at Occupy Tacoma? Oh, wait, those didn’t happen either — in fact, the local cops seem to like the Occupiers for being good neighbors and good citizens:
Because jurisdiction of the land [where Occupy Tacoma is located] is somewhat of a grey area, we have not had the run-ins with local police that are so common to other Occupations, and have even received positive police feedback and support with our efforts to clean up the park and keep drug use out.
Imagine that! Funny how we never hear or see much (if anything) about Occupy Tacoma or Occupy San Antonio on nationally-oriented TV, radio, or newspapers. Or Occupy Detroit, or Occupy Pittsburgh, or Occupy Des Moines, or Occupy Houston, or Occupy Cleveland (which like other Occupy sites nationwide has been helping foreclosure victims get at least a little bit of a break), or — well, you tell me which Occupies in your area have been getting along well with the authorities (and therefore kept off the national media’s radar screens).
Meanwhile, remember Occupy Albany? They may well have to pack up soon as a surprise inspection by the city found them in violation of numerous codes, but they’ve already had a lasting impact on several young minds: A group of civic-minded, public-spirited Albany ninth-graders convinced their school to bus them down to the Occupy encampment, where they had fruitful discussions with the Occupiers about, among other things, how to help impoverished, earthquake-stricken Haitians in need of better plumbing:
The students were in ninth grade at Tech Valley High School and came to conduct a “teach-in.” They were in class recently, learning about Haiti’s history and trying to invent a toilet that can be used by people in developing countries with no plumbing. And then somebody played a video of people marching on the state Capitol with signs that criticized the government and signs that called everybody who wasn’t rich the 99 percent.
Erin Wilder, 14, and her classmates thought about people in the world who are hungry. Maybe the power of those criticizing democratic governments could also be harnessed to get meals, and clean water, for those who live in other countries.
They came to speak to those protesting wealth disparity about how people can come together to create practical solutions, like new toilets that keep water sources clean, for old problems.
As I’ve said before, the kids are alright.