Occupy Atlanta is still going on. It has been going on since October 7, which, if you’re counting is 17 days of urban camping.
I can’t seem to make heads nor tails of what it is these particular occupiers are protesting, but if they want to hang out down there and pee in the bushes, I guess that’s their business.
I did listen to an interview on the radio with two of them, which went sort of like this:
Q: What is it you want?
Q: You are free. Nobody’s making you leave. What do you want to be free from?
A: Working for a large corporation.
Q: You don’t have to work for a large corporation. Are you opposed to other people making a lot of money working for, say, Coke?
You can see where I’d be confused.
Actually, I’m not that naive. I know what they’re protesting, sort of. They want corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, and they want the wealthy to pay their fair share. I’m down with that.
I make considerably more money than a good many people, and I should be in a higher tax bracket than those people. I am proud of where I have gotten to, and I am proud to pay my taxes; I think people who cheat on their taxes are thieves.
However, I think if you really want to see change, to quote my friend Janea, then you need to develop yourself a serious set of skills and either work for those corporations and change things from within, or start your own corporation. I don’t think hanging out in a park and sleeping on cold pavement until you have hemorrhoids will force change as effectively as working your fingers to the bone will.
Tonight the mayor, Kasim Reed, announced that he will move that deadline up. It seems that Saturday a concert was held in the park without the proper permitting, and thus proper security. That event cost the city $100,000, and Atlanta is not rolling in the dough as it is.
And here is the heart of the issue, for me at least: The protesters have a back-up plan, which is to go to the homeless shelter at Peachtree and Pine.
The homeless shelter at Peachtree and Pine is for actual homeless people, and it is already over-crowded, especially as the weather grows cold. That particular shelter is also in danger of closing as it is.
I don’t give a fat rat’s ass if the protesters leave and come back, but I do care if they displace people who quite literally have no place else to go.