Seek movements' meaning

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I would like to respond to Robert Smock’s letter, “Occupy movement ruinous” (Nov. 19).

There are two largely mislabeled movements in contemporary American politics: Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. Mr. Smock inappropriately labels OWS as supporting Hugo Chavez, Karl Marx and Ali Khamenei. On the other side, many accuse the Tea Party of racism.

I highly doubt that OWS is defined by its support of a South American dictator, the original Marxist and the supreme leader of Iran, just as I highly doubt the Tea Party is led by a love for George Wallace and the old days of Jim Crow. Certainly, there are individuals in both movements who are involved for the wrong reasons, but letting them define the movements would anesthetize the importance of their messages.

And it seems strange to accuse a president of choosing sides in our political system. Elections are nearly always defined by personal values, whether it be William Jennings Bryan lambasting the wealthy in his “Cross of Gold” speech or Ronald Reagan railing against big government with quips such as, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

Both the Tea Party and OWS are “politically motivated” movements attempting to bring productive dialogue to American households. Thanks to the Tea Party, we’re talking more about debt, entitlement programs and self-interested politicians. Thanks to OWS, we’re talking more about greed, class inequality and corporate corruption.

So rather than ignore a movement because of some misbehaved people, why not read about the true meaning? I think Mr. Smock would be pleasantly surprised at some of the more poignant, innocuous messages of OWS.

Timothy Van Vliet

Evans

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allhans
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allhans 11/22/11 - 11:30 pm
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We see those "poignant,

We see those "poignant, innocuous" messages on the news several times a day.

omnomnom
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omnomnom 11/23/11 - 02:12 am
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none are so blind as those

none are so blind as those that refuse to see. bravo timothy. well thought out, polite letter.

carcraft
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carcraft 11/23/11 - 05:21 am
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Timothy must have steped out

Timothy must have steped out for a beer when OWS was covered, including the part about burning Macy's, shutting down all the ports on the west coast, shoving old women down stairs and not allowing people into work, the rapes, the violence (several murders) etc . It is really hard to find any Tea Party racism but racism in anti semetic fashion is all over OWS..sorry Timothy not even close!

Techfan
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Techfan 11/23/11 - 07:31 am
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Where the heck do you get

Where the heck do you get your news car? It has to be WND, Newsmax, CNS, or Newsbusters.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 11/23/11 - 08:38 am
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Mr. Van Vliet: yours is the

Mr. Van Vliet: yours is the voice of reasonableness, a rare thing in these pages. For your pains, you will mostly read responses like carcraft's,
outright condemnations of the OWS crowd and complete whitewashes of the Tea Party. And don't hold your breath for kudos from Mike ("So sad") Ryan and the ACES folks either. Reason and fairness doesn't play well in this forum. I look forward today to the usual right wing rants from the usual, highly predictable sources, taking you to task. It will be lots of fun!

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 11/23/11 - 08:56 am
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I remember all of the riots
Unpublished

I remember all of the riots and disruptions resulting from the boistrous Tea Party gatherings. Those Tea Party Members ( of which I proudly associate) really need to get a coherent message like those "ows"adherents. I believe all basket weaving majors need to start at the top upon "graduation".

dichotomy
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dichotomy 11/23/11 - 09:01 am
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OWS....poignant

OWS....poignant no......pungent yes.

There is absolutely no comparison between the way the TEA party conducted themselves and the OWS snots. TEA party events had no violence, they obtained permits, they did not "occupy" anything, they did not impede vehicle or pedestrian traffic or prevent anyone from going to work, and they left their protest sites pretty much as clean as they were when they got there. Oh yeh, and the TEA party had pretty much a focused, coherent message......CUT SPENDING. The OWS group was quickly taken over by union thugs and anarchists who are leading group of mostly irrationally idealistic college age kids attending a "happening" on mommy and daddy's credit card. The one "demand" that has trickled out of their chaos is that they want to "stop corporate greed" which nobody has the power to do and is never going to happen. The politicians are not listening to them, the public support for them has dwindled, and the CEOs are certainly not paying any attention to them. They need to go home and quit bothering people. They are not helping anything and, in fact, are costing cities lots of money that could be put to better use. When you are doing more harm than you are good, it's time to go home. The real story in all of this is the double standard the left uses to compare the legitimate grassroots one day political gatherings of the TEA party to a group of union led left wing anarchists who's main intent is to disrupt people's lives, destroy property, and stink up the place. The 2010 elections demonstrated which way is successful.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/23/11 - 09:02 am
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Excellent letter Mr. Van

Excellent letter Mr. Van Vliet. It is obvious that you are a well educated man and a gentlemen to boot. The problem with it, however, is that comparing the Tea Party with the OWS crowd is a little out of kilter. When have you seen Tea Party members camping out in parks, defecating on the American flag and on police cars. raping women( I am assuming that it is women but who knows), blocking traffic on the Brooklyn bridge , etc, etc etc. Have you seen OWS members being interviewed and being asked what their goals are. If you have you have seen and heard answers that make no sense at all like-"they didn't tell me." I say again , Sir, that your letter with the exceptions mentioned here is one of the best that I have read in a long time. Have a good day.

Techfan
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Techfan 11/23/11 - 09:23 am
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The right wing MO, If you

The right wing MO, If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. Keep posting them, some of the uneducated might believe them, everyone else recognizes the right wing propagana.

augusta citizen
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augusta citizen 11/23/11 - 09:33 am
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Mr. Van Vliet, I believe in

Mr. Van Vliet, I believe in the beginning people were willing to hear what the OWS was about, what they believed and what they wanted. There may be a minority of protestors who have a reason that they are there and protesting. Some may have a message, but if so, they are such a small percentage as to not be heard anyway. Most have either not been able to articulate why they are there or have given answers that are absurd. They have mostly shown themselves to behave as animals, with their filth, their crime and their vandalism. They don't act anything like the Tea Partiers did, these Occupy participants act like riotous mobs for the most part. There behavior has overshadowed any message they may have wanted to convey.

That most only showed up to be a part of something, not really knowing what, they were ripe for socialist and Union leaders to high-jack their movement and this has happened and is happening. Most are blindly doing the bidding of others.

TParty
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TParty 11/23/11 - 09:31 am
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To be fair, OWS is a protest,

To be fair, OWS is a protest, it's suppose to be disruptive. Look at what is happening over seas at their protests. Our own civil rights movement here was disruptive, with sit-in and folks not moving from their seat on the bus. That's the point of a protest.

The Tea Party did have some violence, on the top of my head I remember some Tea Party folks stepping on the head of a person who did not support Paul Ryan. There were also a lot of violent signs, and people carrying weapons to rallies. With that said, the Tea Party was non-violent, just like the OWS is non-violent.

You have to understand the difference between a rally, and a protest.

As far as people saying OWS are all dumb and don't know what they want, that's what the media was saying about the Tea Party. Remember the signs "Keep government hands off my medicare!"

When you have such a large group of people, there are going to be crazies, and dumb people. Remember that this week if you're having a big family thanksgiving get together! ;)

The Tea Party and OWS want the same thing, to stop the private gains with socialized losses. The more we fight with each other, the more the corporations get away with their greed.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/23/11 - 09:51 am
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A neighbor of mine who is

A neighbor of mine who is retired military and his wife attended the Tea Party rally in Washington several months ago. When he returned he told me that the crowd was orderly, quiet and that the area in which the rally was held was just as clean when the rally was over as it was when it started. Coming from a former military man impressed me. As we all know military people are very disciplined and orderly and would be the first to find fault. He found no fault.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/23/11 - 09:53 am
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Techfan, tell us what lies

Techfan, tell us what lies have been told.

Bruno
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Bruno 11/23/11 - 10:04 am
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"So rather than ignore a

"So rather than ignore a movement because of some misbehaved people, why not read about the true meaning?" So we are supposed to ignore their actions and listen to their, admittedly, muddled message? How about we pay attention to both since both their actions and their message are how they present themselves.

TParty
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TParty 11/23/11 - 10:15 am
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There was a soldier recently

There was a soldier recently convicted of murders in Afghanistan. Another solider recently killed local police officer James Paugh. There are other crimes committed by members of the Armed Forces. No one would ever label the entire military the same way as they are labeling the OWS.

allhans
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allhans 11/23/11 - 10:21 am
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Hurry TechFan and answer

Hurry TechFan and answer scoobydoisback..I can only stay on a little while this AM.

Jane18
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Jane18 11/23/11 - 10:24 am
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But, Techfan, you only have

But, Techfan, you only have to look around and talk to people(that call themselves a democrat), and they confirm what you said Republicans say(8:23am post). I know this for a fact, because every now and then, I get the opportunity to talk to them. They are not stupid people, they are mislead and ignorant(to ignore, not realize) to the fact that they are being used. I know you won't believe this, but, these abusers of mankind are going to pay for it one day.............

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/23/11 - 10:25 am
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TParty, How in the world can

TParty, How in the world can you compare incidents committed by a few members of the military, which is a cross section of America, to the OWS mob scenes that we have witnessed on TV? How can you possibly speak of the two in the same paragraph? Your logic evades me .

allhans
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allhans 11/23/11 - 10:26 am
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TParty..I guess you are

TParty..I guess you are saying that you can find a rotten apple in most barrels, but what do you do when most all of them are rotten?
I know..You throw them out.
----------------------------------
Did you hear where the musician (I don't know his name, he has a big afro) played "...Lying A B" when Michele Bachman made an appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show. Very funny..I laughed til I cried. Uh huh.

Bruno
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Bruno 11/23/11 - 10:28 am
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TParty, of course some label

TParty, of course some label the entire Armed Forces in the same way. They have been doing it since the '60's and in some liberal circles continue today.
Also, there is no such thing as a "violent sign". There can be signs that have saying that espouse violence on them but the sign is an inanimate object and can not be violent in its own right.

TParty
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TParty 11/23/11 - 10:42 am
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The entire OWS are not mobs.

The entire OWS are not mobs. Have you seen the footage of college kids participating in the OWS at their campus sitting down in their quad? And the police officer pepper sprays them the same way I water my garden? There are people here in Augusta downtown supporting the OWS, are they a mob? Or what about those guys from OWS who went to the rescue of the marine who was shot in the head with a rubber bullet (still in the hospital with a fractured skull) from the police? Was he part of a mob? Is that why another officer needed to throw concussion grenades at the group trying to assist the wounded vet?

The protests are very peaceful. Considering how many people are participating in them, and how long they have been going on for, they are very peaceful. I'm sure you can find some stories of individuals that will counter this, but it's important to separate them from the real OWS. We do it with soldiers who commit crimes, say they are not real soldiers. We do it with Christians who kill people, and say they are not true Christians. OWS have not killed anyone, and somehow the right is labeling them in a negative fashion.

I said it earlier, it's a protest, it's going to be disruptive. That's the point of them, just like the civil rights movement.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/23/11 - 11:14 am
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Tparty, I lived through the

Tparty, I lived through the civil rights movement in the sixties. The only violence that I remember came from those that opposed the movement. Martin Luther King and his followers was in the most part peaceful. To compare the civil rights movement to OWS is a travesty.

TParty
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TParty 11/23/11 - 11:23 am
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The only violence that I know

The only violence that I know of, comes from those who oppose OWS. Just look at rivermans comment above. Just replace water cannons and dogs from the 60's to pepper spray and rubber bullets for today.

And I'm sure you remember people trying to discredit the movement during those times as well. Probably used Malcolm X to scare folks.

It's not a travesty when there are similarities.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 11/23/11 - 11:23 am
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Wow! A well reasoned and

Wow! A well reasoned and seasoned letter for a change. Kudos to the author. I have to agree with all his points. In reality, at the heart of the tea party is the debt crisis and the heart of OWS is how we bailed banks and wall street (who got us in this mess) and no one has been prosecuted. I can't imagine anyone not being similarly angry over both situations. I don't believe the class disparity is that important in the long run-after all America has always been about the opportunity to move up a rung on the ladder to success. I don't think we as a society would deny our people or country the path to success and wealth. Now the path part may need tweaking a bit.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/23/11 - 11:27 am
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TParty , Your version of it

TParty , Your version of it is far different from the way most see it. Even those that supported OWS in beginning have backed off.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/23/11 - 11:29 am
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Tparty, since they pulled

Tparty, since they pulled that comment let me try again.

I'd not only use water hoses on these protestors I'd put red pepper spray on their toilet paper.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 11/23/11 - 11:36 am
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Well we are a very judgmental

Well we are a very judgmental society-we judge christians, jews, and muslims by the actions of a few, and we judge the tea party and OWS by the actions of a few. I can appreciate that mentality but see little fruit that will come of it. Why do we have to denigrate and demonize those we disagree-no compromise or debate will occur. That is what our government has evolved into. The Supercommittee couldn't do the tough job for fear of losing their political position and maintaining their political ideology so they default and say "we tried" then the blame game (disgusting). Like the Buddha said the middle path is best-they should have been able to find compromise and a middle path. We should all be supporting the Tea Party and OWS in regard to our debt crisis and economic corrupton between government, banks, and wall street.

allhans
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allhans 11/23/11 - 11:40 am
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Have you seen the full tape

Have you seen the full tape of the "pepper spray" and what happened before. The protesters were fighting the police and refusing to move, then sat down so they couldn't be moved. The cops, as so many of us do, having human failings, followed orders to remove them..and yes, went too far. The paddy wagon should have been called and enough cops to manually haul them all away.

If I drive up to an intersection and the light is green but a cop steps out into traffic and tells me to stop. You know what. I stop. I don't say to myself "I have the right to keep going, the light is green, to heck with the cop".

Vito45
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Vito45 11/23/11 - 11:41 am
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"Tparty, I lived through the

"Tparty, I lived through the civil rights movement in the sixties. The only violence that I remember came from those that opposed the movement. Martin Luther King and his followers was in the most part peaceful. To compare the civil rights movement to OWS is a travesty."

Scooby, I believe too that from those days of unrest came a lot of municipal ordinances regulating how and when people could demonstrate. Requiring permits and setting out what is acceptable and unacceptable guarantees the protesters their right to assemble, yet allows the community some control to avoid violence and anarchy with people just willy nilly gathering where and when they want to.

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