Over the weekend, the Occupy Movement was making headlines again. Occupy Oakland is going crazy trying to move into a building and take it over as their headquarters (under the premise of turning it into a community center for the 99%)…what are these people still protesting about and why do they resort to violence and criminal activity?
The Occupy Oakland Movement Start
Occupy Oakland started on October 10, 2011 (almost 4 months ago), in protest of the over-arching theme of the 99% vs. the 1%, where corporate and political elitists are out of touch with the plight of the 99% of Americans who are, in reality, in lower tax brackets anyway.
Their website says they are more than just a “speak out or camp out”. They claim they are there to plan a resistance to defend themselves from the economic and physical war being waged against them and their communities.
The Occupy Oakland Truth
However, Occupy Oakland has seemed to take a much more violent and criminal protest compared to other Occupy Movements worldwide. Protestors from the Occupy Oakland group have been arrested in droves trying to break into buildings, causing riots, and assaulting police officers. This weekend, they tried to break into City Hall, then they tried to break into the unoccupied convention center, and when police stopped them from both, they overran an occupied YMCA until police forced them out. In each instance, they caused property damage and other expenses.
If you are protesting oppression from the 1%, how does over-running a YMCA solve that? The YMCA is a non-profit whose focus is being a community centered organization to provide health for the mind, body, and spirit – and whose activities basically only service the 99% (sorry, I don't see many millionaire bankers working out at my YMCA).
The Economic Cost of Occupy Oakland
This movement is trying to get more economic equality. However, instead of going out and getting jobs, paying off their debts, and working for their own prosperity, this group is just making life more expensive for everyone else who has to pay for them…
Here are some true costs of this movement, and why you should care:
- It is averaging over $1 million a month in extra costs incurred by the city of Oakland to police and clean-up the movement:
- $770,000 in police costs (including overtime and supplies)
- $100,000 in public works costs (trash, graffiti clean up, sanitation)
- $25,000 in replacing damaged city property (glass, trash cans, etc.)
- $100,000 in security enhancements to city facilities (including City Hall, Police Department, websites, etc.)
- The Oakland Chamber of Commerce has said that sales have dropped 40% at surrounding businesses as customers are afraid of being harassed going downtown (this also means lost revenue for the city in terms of sales taxes)
- Estimates are that there are around 500 full-time occupiers, with numbers swelling during major events. Let's look at the costs of 500 full-time unemployed:
- The average American gets $330 per week in unemployment benefits – so 17 weeks of benefits for 500 people has cost the State of California $2.8 million (but you know these people are making no effort to find real jobs, they just want to protest)
So, these people are blaming the 1%, but they have to realize that the 49% of people who actually pay taxes are the ones paying for them to be in that park and cause all of this crime.
Food for Thought
If you are thinking that the Occupy Oakland movement is a good thing, I want you to think about this:
- What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving
- The government cannot give to anybody anything without taking from somebody else¹
So, instead of protesting what others have, get out there and get it for yourself. You can even go get a sweet ass government job for all I care! Stop making me, a taxpayer, pay for you to damage other things that my tax money goes to. Everything you broke, someone paid for, and someone will have to pay to fix. Every time you harass someone from entering a business, you prevent someone else from making money to live the American dream of making their own destiny.
Stop protesting and start actually working for the solutions you believe in (if you can figure out what they are)!
Readers, what are your thoughts on this movement? Is the financial cost worth it? Can you protest without causing so much financial damage?
1. Quotes are from The Liberty and Freedom Foundation. While I don't agree with many of their views, I found these quotes to resonate with me.