Every day I read the news and learn about arrests, violence, traffic problems, soaring costs, destruction of public property, and the numerous other issues that have arisen as a direct result of the Occupy Movement. I drive down Broadway in downtown Denver and I see the shanty town that has developed at the front steps of the state capital. Every time I hear or see something new about the Movement I cringe.
Most recently, Occupy Oakland protesters closed the Oakland Port, creating a ripple effect along the west coast, delaying cargo, stopping traffic, and preventing those who work in the port from actually going to work. The Movement’s major claim is that the elite 1% of the U.S. is controlling and manipulating the remaining 99%. However, the truth is that a radical 1% has been spending and wasting the resources of the 98%.
Despite the favorable employment data that was released last month and the increased consumer spending for the holidays, the U.S. economy is still in the dumps. It is completely understandable that there is wide-spread frustration with the way the system is being run. But, the Occupy Movement has become a golden calf. In the name of changing the system for the better, the Occupy protestors are squandering precious little resources and undermining legitimate efforts for proactive change.
There is data showing that the protests in Denver alone have cost over half a million dollars in extra police forces and labor. Personally, I would have preferred to put those public funds into education or some other worthy program. As an attorney, I certainly understand and respect the sanctity of the First Amendment and the freedom to express your political and social views. But, as a taxpayer and a citizen, I believe it is time to try and put the genie back in the bottle.