Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Arab Spring vs. Yankee Autumn, am I missing something?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) October 26th, 2011

Am I missing something here? The US government supported civil unrest, and demonstration in the Middle East, but let it happen here on US soil they want to break it up with tear gas and arrest. Is the message you are justified in protesting or having a resistance movement only if you are in an Arab nation? What am I missing? Seems to me the US doesn’t respect protest equally.

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15 Answers

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Excellent point. The same people want to break up peaceful demonstrations here that supported wars to export democracy, but laws to engineer voter rights and districting to assure single party rule here.

zenvelo's avatar

I think you’re comparing apples and oranges. Most cities have been very patient with the Occupy groups, and the true occupy people have been non violent. It’s too bad they’ve also attracted some people that don’t agree withe basic philosophy, and have imposed street people onto the Occupy locations.

The Arab spring was a rise up against severely oppressive governments. I don’t think you can equate the US to Tunisia, Egypt, or Syria.

wundayatta's avatar

@zenvelo What do you mean they have imposed street people onto the Occupy locations?

marinelife's avatar

@wundayatta Did you see the film from Oakland? @zenvelo is right.

Also right about the different nature of the protests.

wundayatta's avatar

@marinelife You still haven’t explained what it means. What does it mean to impose street people? Who are the street people? Drunks? Mentally ill? What is imposing? Did they round them up at gunpoint and drop them off at the occupation site, forcing the occupying people to… what? Feed them? How? At gun point? What the hell are we talking about here?

zenvelo's avatar

Occupy Oakland had more street people (those homeless that prefer to be drunk or high instead of assisted) than actual protesters. And Occupy SF has had the same problem. Both have become open sewers with untreated waste, a rash of thefts, and in Oakland assaults on women. At least OWS has a Women’s Safe Place at Liberty Plaza, and worked with NYPD to keep the Plaza safe.

wundayatta's avatar

How are the street people being imposed?

zenvelo's avatar

@wundayatta Please excuse my poor grammar written at 4 a.m. I meant the street people have imposed themselves upon the movement, taking advantage of an “all are welcome” attitude.

It also bothers me that one of the most vocal people at Occupy Oakland is one of the former Berkeley Tree Sitters, who, when being removed from a tree, threw his feces at union workers and the police.

marinelife's avatar

@wundayatta They are not being imposed. They have imposed themselves:

“The violence at Occupy Oakland city camp has spiraled out of control as homeless people, ex-convicts, at least one registered sex offender, students, unemployed hotel workers, anarchists and far left activists vie for power.”


wundayatta's avatar

Ok. I get it. Although it hardly seems like it should be called an “imposition” when there is an “all are welcome” attitude.

The protesters had no idea what they were getting into when they said that. In Philly, yesterday, they had a meeting with the mental health community and were begging for peer counselors to help them. They have no idea how to deal with the mentally ill (which is what the majority of street people are).

These are the future leaders of this county and they are cutting their eye teeth and making mistakes due to their inexperience. They will learn, and the lessons of these protests will serve them well in the future.

They are very idealistic. They like the idea of inclusion and are learning how difficult that is. They like the idea of remaining non-aligned politically and will be discovering how ineffective that is. Sooner of later they have to get politicians they can work with, and that means getting involved in electoral politics—hopefully with Republicans (the Dems don’t need to move farther left if they want to get anything done).

My sense is the Yankee Autumn is more about the economy and opportunity. The Arab Spring is about self-determination and the economy.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@zenvelo @marinelife I think I will rely and listen to the many local news agencies covering the movement than some mook posting to YouTube. I live 32mi from there and have friends that work in the City and we certainly have not seen or experienced much of that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Wow, gq. backs away slowly, this dream will last ~

zenvelo's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I’ve been watching KTVU and reading the Chronicle and walking by Occupy SF. OSF was doing fine until about ten days ago when they moved to Justin Herman Plaza and set up tents. It’s gotten pretty disgusting down there.

I watched interviews of the Occupy Oakland people complaining about about violent people co-opting the movement. The consensus of the General Assembly yesterday was to not tear down the fences around the grass by Ogawa plaza, but about 5 or 6 people said they were above the movement and would tear down the fences anyway. Meanwhile the crowd was chanting “Leave the fences alone.”

The people not aligned with the movement play right into the hands of the powers that be by being examples that “They’re all just a mob.”

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@zenvelo OSF was doing fine until about ten days ago when they moved to Justin Herman Plaza and set up tents. It’s gotten pretty disgusting down there. I can imagine. You have hundreds of people in a small space, cooking, bringing in crap, maybe even relieving themselves in bushes and allies, it can get like a refugee camp with no one really cleaning up. That is the unfortunate byproduct of such a movement. There is no textbook, so some of it will have rough edges.

I watched interviews of the Occupy Oakland people complaining about about[sic] violent people co-opting the movement. I have not seen a demonstration or protest yet, less the one the Hispanics did a while back, where some fringe elements did not try to piggyback on. Even the demonstrations for Oscar Grant got piggybacked. To try to use that as a sole reason to say people can’t use their freedom of speech, as they champion overseas is disingenuous to me. I may not agree with everything the protestors are protesting over, most of the rage I think they should be directing at the government, I think Uncle Sam should not be getting in the way if it is not killing people. If they can champion it in Cairo, they should in Chicago. I personally think they should be out working, but maybe that is why they are their because they can’t find jobs. Just because the plight of those protesting is not like that of Egypt, Libya, or Syria, but I believe if they feel maligned the have a constitutional right to gripe about it, even if it is in their own mind they are right.

Out of curiosity, you work or live in The City?

zenvelo's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I live in central Contra Costa and work in the City in the Financial District.

The beauty of the Occupy movement is that without a list of demands and with non violence, the powers that be can’t “define” the group, but must recognize that many many people are upset that the whole system is broken. It’s not about Dems or Repes, it’s the whole structure. And it’s not like a list can be checked off and then everything goes back to normal.

But with street people and various thugs and gangs and predators piling on, it destroys the efforts of those that are non violent.

To get back to your original question, it’s not like the Arab Spring, it is an American autumn, and they are different movements.

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