The occasion was a yearly vigil for the homeless who’ve died on city streets over the past year despite Denver’s many fervent outreach programs. The Denver Post called the touching annual memorial – where this year the names of 136 deceased homeless people were to be read aloud – a “traditionally solemn” affair.
Not this year.
Instead, when Denver Mayor Michael Hancock took the lectern, a group of Occupy Denver protesters shouted him down, calling him a “fascist” and “criminal,” among other things.
“For about three minutes,” writes the Post, “the mayor pleaded with them to show civility to the families present and respect for the 136 men and women whose names were to be called ...”
You just can’t reason with some people, especially those with no class or sense of propriety or dignity.
Just when you have twinges of commonality or sympathy with the Occupy folks, they remind you why you really don’t. What a thoroughly, uncomplicatedly disgraceful thing to do – to disrupt any memorial service, but certainly one for dozens of the homeless. And they claim to have an affinity for the homeless.
It gets worse.
Note the dangerously condescending and imperious attitude of one vocal Occupy Denver protester who justified the disrupting of the memorial service by noting the mayor’s role in evicting Occupy from a park the day before, after weeks of pleadings and warnings:
“He does not deserve to be heard or respected,” she said.
So, in short, they want their First Amendment rights respected, but see fit to deny others theirs. Nice manners, babe.
And, oh by the way, the First Amendment neither requires that you occupy public spaces overnight, nor allows it in opposition to the law. This woman can speak all day; she just doesn’t have the right to build a shanty in a public park.
Nor does she have the right to disrupt ceremonies and speeches.
But this is the morally superior – dare we say “fascist”? – attitude increasingly displayed by her ilk: that they alone are the arbiters of which public speech is to be heard and respected – homeless loved ones and memorials be hanged.
“This isn’t about their political agenda,” Ingram said. “It’s about our family, some sympathy and showing just a little bit of respect for the dead. I am so angry right now.”
Join the club, Cynthia.