Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupy this.

My daughter went on a trip back to Boston recently. We called to check on her and were a bit surprised to learn that she wasn't in Boston, but in fact she was in New York at the Occupy Wall Street protest. She spent two nights sharing a tent with someone she met there. 

Last week after she was back home the police raided Zuccotti park and evicted the Occupy Wall Street protesters. She sent this letter to Mayor Bloomberg and I think she makes some 
good points and it is not just that she is my daughter. 

Dear Mr. Bloomberg,
I am 26 years old, I have a bachelor's degree in biology, and I have a secure job with pay appropriate to my experience and locale. I am not a street kid, a bleeding heart hippie, or a lazy unemployed college dropout.

I am outraged at your eviction of protesters from Zuccotti park. Last weekend I participated in the occupation while on a vacation to visit friends. I stayed for two nights and have never done something like that before. Thanks in part to your negative, narrow-minded actions, and to the amazing, well organized and thoughtful group of people that "lead" the occupation, I intend to do more of that.

Your claim that the park was unsanitary and unsafe is absolutely wrong--I felt completely comfortable there, volunteers cleaned it continually, kitchen staff operated according to standard food handler practices.

I understand that some neighbors to the park have complained about the protesters. I find it appalling that you have invested thousands and thousands of dollars in huge police forces to surround, intimidate, and evict a peaceful protest in one park, when a few short miles away the Bronx is riddled with crime and NONE of the parks are safe.

I look forward to seeing news that you are respecting the rights of citizens to peaceably assemble, and turn your attentions instead to reform and fighting the gross inequality enmeshed in your city. The country is watching you.

Lillian Kuehl