Saturday, November 26, 2011

Outreach to Occupy - A Fool's Errand? UPDATE

I probably should have come to this conclusion before, but yesterday's tomfoolery at WalMart is really the last straw for any thoughts that the tea party could make common cause with #ows.  From Free Republic via Gateway Pundit.
Meanwhile, the San Diego occupiers stormed into a Wal-Mart, filled 75 carts with merchandise, disrupted shoppers by chanting their nonsense for several minutes at the cash registers, then fled the store leaving behind 75 full carts for the employees to put away.
The occupiers have been compared by the President to the tea party, but there is really no comparison.  Some friends pointed out that the fundamental difference accrues to respect for every individual and their rights that forms the basis of tea party principle, but is absent from the occupy movement.  In this occupy action against Walmart, no such respect is present.
  • The occupiers presume to speak for the employees, as if they can't speak for themselves.  I know that Walmart employees can't speak out at work, but they have other avenues of protest available.
  • By leaving the shopping carts filled with junk, they just create more work for those same employees, with whom they profess solidarity.
  • They presume to inconvenience the shoppers at the store, infringing their opportunity to shop.
  • They try to make the point that corporations aren't people, so they feel free to trespass on Walmart property.  But Walmart's stockholders are real people who own stock in the company, and as owners, they have rights too.
Besides the lack of respect for individuals, this stunt is just childish.  Chanting slogans and interfering with the workings of a business and leaving a mess?  Certainly you can do better.

That said, I will continue to make common cause with those on the left who want to oppose corporate welfare and crony capitalism, nationally or locally.  The purchase of the Union-Tribune by Doug Manchester, with the selection of John Lynch as new President and CEO, brought to light a case in point.  As has been reported here and here, the U-T will now shill for a new Charger stadium, presumably with taxpayer funding.  I will certainly make common cause with the left of center VOSD  for example, to prevent a taxpayer fleecing in support of the big business known, currently, as the San Diego Chargers.  But as for the occupiers themselves, their movement seems to have gone off the rails.


 SarahB at Lipstick Underground offers an assessment of the disrespect shown to the mothers shopping at Walmart.
And, as a mother, what horrifies me most, is how they boxed in families during the stunt. One mother with a stroller, a small boy and a baby in her arms, has no where to go. If that was me, I would have been angry and terrified. One wrong move by anyone in that crowd and things would have turned dangerous in a flash.

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