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View Diary: Support for Occupy Wall Street drops in new poll (306 comments)

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  •  But it is OWS's job to solve the problem of how (8+ / 0-)

    having those people directed to their camps affects the perceptions of the movement, the safety of the communitiy and the ability of the Occupiers to continue their good work.

    •  Try to recruit them. (6+ / 0-)

      If they become disruptive, I'd turn em over to the cops and make a big hoopla about the cooperation.

      •  Hearded to the camps? (4+ / 0-)

        I'm not sure that the negative elements in our society and on the streets are actually being "hearded" into the OWS camps.  These camps offer an environment that the homeless and criminal element can find security in.  It's not what the OWS movement wants and they most certainly need to be vigilant in keeping these elements out.  It's not what this movement is about.  It's not a "homeless shelter" or "protection zone".  That just takes away from our message.

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 10:11:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There have been reports though (0+ / 0-)

          that police were directing those elements to OWS -- I can't remember where I read that, so just take it as an anecdote.

          But yes, many Occupations, specifically ones that are full-time, have taken it upon themselves to set up kitchens to feed anyone who is hungry.  Another anecdote -- one homeless addict who found his way to a camp has been clean for weeks as he helps run the kitchen.

          Having "that" element in the camp wreaks havoc on the messaging, but it also underscores the issues being confronted.  Ultimately, Occupations do need to take responsibility for making sure the camps are safe, but I don't agree that it means excluding people by virtue of their class or status.

        •  Because of how OWS has choosen... (0+ / 0-)

          ...to operate, it's difficult for them to keep "these" elements out (for various definitions of "out").

          Since OWS has chosen to occupy public spaces without getting a permit or the like for exclusive use, they can't exclude "these elements" (a.k.a. "people") from being cheek to jowl with OWS since, just like everyone else in the US, all parties have equal claim to the space.

          Perhaps OWS could establish some sort of "certified member" status and identify "these" people somehow (drug tests? criminal background checks? requiring personal references from N certified members in good standing? daily votes on who to keep and who to dump? questioning under penalty of perjury about groups applicants have previously been members of?) and exclude them from from membership. However, I can't imagine any such criteria and process that wouldn't be cumbersome and costly to administer and eliminate a lot of potential participants as well as creating yet more factions and in-fighting.

          Once one had the notion of "certified members", community services (probably most importantly, food from the community kitchen) could be limited to OWS members thereby eliminating some of the motivation for "these" people to stay in the area. However, since OWS can't preclude "these" people (who are clearly in the 99% - many probably in the "other" 1% actually) from the space, all they can do is refuse to share. "These" people can then bring in the press (who, of course, have the right to be there) to show this "selfish, elitist, arrogant, and hypocritical" behavior by the main OWS movement being unwilling to help the bottom 1%. This would be very damaging to the public perception of the movement. Thus, OWS pretty much has to include anyone who they can't convince the police to arrest for some specific criminal act. Rock, meet hard place.

          But this was all obvious to anyone shortly after the occupations started and I'm sure the smarter and more influential people involved in the movement realized all this long ago.

      •  Yes there just has to be some ownership of the (6+ / 0-)

        problem one way or the other.  Same with the black bloc tactics.  It's just immature to think you can create a situation that will attract these problems, take the position that you can't fix them and then expect not be be negatively affected.

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