Seattle college tires of ‘Occupy’ campers

“Occupy Seattle” campers have worn out their welcome at a downtown community college. Crowding, poor sanitation, sexual harassment and doing drugs in sight of the child-care center — kids are being kept inside for play time — are problems, say college officials as they look for a legal basis for eviction.

Also on Community College Spotlight: A new California plan will make community college students choose an academic or vocational path, but it won’t work without improving counseling.

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  1. Some things are more important than tidiness. I don’t understand why so many of my fellow citizens decry the grittiness of the encampments but say nothing about the fetid moral rot on Wall Street and Washington. As if the visible realm were more important than the invisible realm of values, culture and ideas. This focus on superficial things bespeaks a real lack of awareness of the underlying causes of America’s woes. Did Jesus jeer at dirty people?

    American democracy is messy; fascist Germany and Italy were quite tidy.

    • “decry the grittiness of the encampments?”
      This isn’t a problem that can be easily cleaned up with a mop and bucket…the crime alone that these encampments have generated is enough reason to close them. And that’s not even addressing the effectiveness of the protests issue.

      American democracy shouldn’t be messy…the founders gave us an election system to avoid the messiness.

  2. Those are rather odd definitions for “grittiness” and “superficial”–and untidiness, for that matter. Of course Jesus didn’t jeer at dirty people, but (since you brought him up) he also wasn’t afraid to look someone in the eye and say “Go and sin no more.” China’s Communist Revolution didn’t end the fetid moral rot–the rot merely migrated. If OWS accomplishes its objectives, the same thing would happen.

  3. Tea party: Let me keep more of what is mine, earned by my efforts.

    OWS: Gimmie gimmie gimmie! I’m entitled to a comfortable life, even though I haven’t done anything! Take money away from the evil rich people.

  4. Gahrie,

    I was at OO and I work full time.

    I met someone there who washes dishes at Whole Foods Market (he’s very bright, but can’t find other employment).

    Why assume these people are lazy?

    • “Lazy” isn’t in Gahrie’s post; “entitled” is. What exactly was that young man protesting?

  5. We’re both concerned that Wall Street money is buying influence that allows it to rig the system in their favor and against common blokes like us. Their money = power. In a democracy, the people are supposed to have the power, but this is increasingly not the case. Increasingly we have only the facade of a democracy. Isn’t this something worth taking to the streets about? We’re both aware of these shenanigans because we get our information from sources other than Fox News.

    • What an absurd implication you make about news viewing, knowledge of the world, and political opinions. It is extremely unhelpful to assume that people who disagree with you are uninformed/misinformed when the fact is that often they are just as well (or better) informed than you and have come to different conclusions.
      What power do you want “the people” to have more of? The power to take more money away from wealthy people? Your justification for that would be what? Wealthy people already pay a very disproportionate amount of federal taxes (except when they’re tax cheats, which far too many politicians in DC have turned out to be). Our country was set up as a republic, not a democracy, partly because pure democracy too often turns into “mob rule” rather than the rule of law; law protects private property in a capitalist system, and since we have yet to see a non-capitalist system that doesn’t break down and turn to capitalism (if only black market) for survival, I don’t see the point in trying to get rid of capitalism.
      As for money=power, I agree that is an issue that negatively affects both sides of the political aisle. The more power we give the government to fix our lives, the more bribing government officials pays for people who want to promote their own special interests. The recent news about insider trading by many members of Congress and their wealth accumulation while “serving” in Congress is extremely disturbing.
      I don’t see how smelly (I just walked by one today, and it really did stink up the air around it) park protests are the way to fix our systemic problems. The protests seem more like a foolish, crime-riddled distraction for people who haven’t seriously looked into becoming involved in party politics, boring and annoying as they are.

    • I think you’ve hit on the primary philosophical difference between OWS and the Tea Party: OWS thinks the problem is Big Business and the Tea Party thinks the problem is the Government. We know that much of the government’s “stimulus” money was freely given to Big Business and largely misspent–in fact, padded some nice Fat Cat failure bonuses. We know about Solyndra–I wish your friend at OWS could have been given even .01% of that taxpayer drain. And we know that the “student loan bubble”–a collusion between the government and academia at the expense of the students–is about to pop. I believe your protest is misdirected. The people do still have the power; President Obama’s election is testament to that, and America got the government it deserves. Thank God we the people were able to block him! But I believe OWS’s anger and frustration at his failure is being projected onto Big Business. And I don’t listen to Fox News.

      By the way, I washed dishes for spending money through college and, after graduating with an English lit degree and wandering around for a while, joined the army, partly to pay off those darned student loans. Please tell your dish-washing friend to talk to a recruiter.

  6. One measure of right-wing propaganda success is the degree to which Americans vilify government. Norm, in a democracy, government IS the power of the people. Reagan, Fox et. al. have successfully turned us against…ourselves! There is no other potential check to plutocracy (the default mode of government in human history) but a robust government power controlled by the people. The story of Western Civ is a long battle of failed peasant uprisings put down over and over by callous rich people. This tragic pattern was broken with the French and American Revolutions wherein the 99% gained a power that was equal to or greater than that of the rich. That power OVER the rich allowed policies that built the first huge middle class in world history. This led to the Golden Age of American civ in the mid-20th century. But we are now losing that power.

    We have two problems: 1. half of the people hate their own democratically elected goverment (i.e. they’ve been tricked into hating democracy); and 2. that elected government has been largely bought-off by the plutocrats. Voting hasn’t fixed this situation; that’s why I support the creative, non-violent rabble-rousing of the Occupy movement. We’ve got to do something different!

    I recommend listening to Thom Hartmann or Norman Goldman’s radio programs. Brilliant, erudite, good, patriotic men.

    • I don’t think many objective people would call the French Revolution a success, but I do think it’s an objective example of what would happen if the OWS movement came to power. The same excesses are already evident in microcosm, which is why so many Americans find the movement repugnant.

      Modern history has recorded numerous successful “peasant uprisings,” and as I alluded to earlier, the fetid moral rot merely migrated–and got a whole lot worse. History records that after a truly successful peasant uprising, the 99% pay the heaviest price. The irony of the OWS movement, therefore, is not lost on many of us.

      Villify is an inflammatory word–and my counter to your argument is that one measure of left-wing propaganda success is the degree to which Americans villify some external “enemy” that prevents them from taking responsibility for themselves. That’s the lesson from Nazi Germany and that’s the lesson from Radical Islam.

      • I’ve rethought my comment that the French Revolution was not a success, so I withdraw it before you take me to the woodshed:-) The point I was trying to make is that it is generally considered horribly successful rather than gloriously successful…

        • I think you’re wrong about the the French Revolution being generally regarded as a bad thing –yes, everyone acknowledges that it had its hideous excesses, but that does not detract from the fact that it played a huge role in bringing about the end of monarchy across Europe. In many ways it is the beginning of common folks’ power in the modern world.

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      Norm, in a democracy, government IS the power of the people

      So all those people who said of the invasion of Iraq “not in my name” were victims of right-wing propaganda, causing them to vilify government?

  7. Catherine,

    Sadly, several studies have shown that Fox News viewers tend to be poorly informed. For example, this survey finds that Fox News viewers know LESS than people who watch no news at all:
    The whole point of Fox News, it seems to me, is to distract the voting public from truths that may be inconvenient to the plutocrats.

    • I don’t watch Fox, either. I don’t even have a TV, nor do I listen to talking heads. I read a lot. And I still disagree with you.
      The inconvenient fact you’re trying to gloss over with your arguments in favor of the protests is that they are dirty, smelly crime-magnets and basically ineffective at winning the support of the average American. In other words, they are a failure, and it’s time to look at trying something else, like being involved in boring old politics at the grass roots level (says the reluctant precinct leader who got roped into the chore by having actually shown up at her caucus 2 years ago).

    • Oh, don’t even get me started on the validity of polls. I’ve participated in my fair share of polls and I usually frustrate the pollster into stopping it because the questions lack any depth of understanding. Also, the poll questions do not accurately differentiate the focus of different news stations – in other words, a news station that focuses more on domestic politics will inform people less about foreign events.

  8. Bill Leonard says:

    Ponderosa, your blabber about “Western Civ” (your term, my quotes) makes me wonder how much history you’ve actually read. For example, that “golden age of Western Civ” in the US in the mid-20th century, including the creation of a large middle class, happened because the US was the only real winner in WWII. From 1945 until the early 1960s, there were effectively only two economies: the US, and the rest of the planet.

    As to the bullshit about taking to the steets, it’s just that: BS.

    Historically in the US, those with an agenda to present to those power have been most successful when they’ve gone the Tea Party route: do the dull but important work of organizing from the precinct level on up, and electing people to Congress. The Tea Partiers have done just that; the election of 80 or so members in the space of 18 to 20 months of effort is no small accomplishment.

    Will they be successful? Keep in mind that past movements (the Socialists and Progressives in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) have elected people to Congress, but rarely permanently; none has elect a president; but it was enough to rationally present a platform, elements of which obviously made sense to the rest of the country. That’s how we achieved the 8-hour workday, for instance. When much of the agenda was fulfilled, the party and its members tended to fade away.
    And I suspect it will be that way with the Tea Party, too.

    It sure won’t happen with an occupier agenda that seems to be far more interested in camping and defecating in public space and generally raising hell than in presenting rational arguments about much of anything.


    • But Bill, the far left has such a proud history of protest by defecation…its much more sophisticated than debate or such crude animalistic behavior like voting.

      • In case you’re interested in the truth….

        From what I’ve observed, the Occupy Oakland organizers consist mainly of a hundred or so clean-cut, very intelligent college students who, in Christ-like fashion, kindly embrace the smelly homeless folks (many of them mentally ill) and drug-addled neo-hippie youth that gravitate to the movement. They don’t treat their fellow humans like vermin, as certain people are apt to do, sadly. Among the many things these hard-working organizers had done at Frank Ogawa Plaza was to bring in several Port-a-Potties and establish a cleaning crew that cleaned them very frequently.

        I wish I had your confidence that ordinary political participation is the only effective way to create change. It would seem the civil rights movement, the Flint factory sit-in, Gandhi’s mass marches, etc. show that other methods can be effective as well.