As if the public perception of the Occupy Wall Street protesters wasn’t bad enough already, Tuesday morning’s raid of Zuccotti Park in New York City added more fuel to the fire. The protesters, it seems, created unsanitary living conditions that had become “intolerable,” according to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And so, they were cleared of the area – forcibly of course – while cleaning crews literally hosed down the filth.
The evicted OWS group reconvened at another corner of the city to discuss their next move, and ultimately, the fight may make its way into the courts.
It’s hard to argue against the fact that these protesters have an unalienable right to speak their minds. If they weren’t so darned extreme – camping overnight for two months straight instead of, I don’t know, getting a job! – more people might actually listen to what they have to say. And while the measures New York City officials took Tuesday morning also look quite outlandish, you have to wonder who looks worse in this instance – the police, Bloomberg, the protesters or their corporate targets.
It had to be embarrassing enough for the original OWS organizers that some protesters had taken the movement so far that participants are being portrayed as not just extreme, not just crazy, not just misguided, but also smelly. And who can get behind that?
Local OWS camps that want to attract new followers, and some positive attention for once, should start by making themselves presentable. No one wants to see, hear and smell stinky hippies protesting while they make their way to work, home, school, or while they’re out trying to enjoy a lovely November day. This isn’t the 60s, remember.
So, for you protesters, here are five suggestions for how you can improve your position, in light of today’s news:
• Occupy a Shower. This should be the first thing you do…on a consistent basis. And use soap.
• Occupy a Macy’s. If you want your voice to be heard by those in control, you really should be dressed in business casual gear. The new fall wardrobes are out, too, so your timing is uncanny!
• Occupy a Trash Receptacle. Clean up after yourselves. No one wants to see mounds of granola wrappers lying on the ground in their public park. Plus, “going green” is all the rage nowadays.
• Occupy an iPad. Protesting in parks is so yesterday. Hit the Internet and make waves there. Your audience will be much bigger, and you’ll be able to blend in easier with the other kooks.
• Occupy Monster.com. There are well more than 1,000 jobs listed within a 20-mile radius of Trenton. Want to stick it to the man? Earn money, save, then buy him out.