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Morning Poll: Occupy Arlington?

by ARLnow.com November 17, 2011 at 9:35 am 3,360 127 Comments

Yesterday we were the first to report about the newly-formed Occupy NoVA group’s plan to march from Ballston to the Key Bridge.

It’s not clear how many people will show up for the march. At this point, Occupy NoVA appears to be a loose coalition of, at most, a couple dozen people. And unlike their Occupy D.C. and Occupy Wall Street brethren, Occupy NoVA is not occupying anything at the moment. The group has not yet established any encampments — but they say that future plans are up for discussion.

Though Arlington is generally considered a bastion of progressivism in an otherwise right-leaning state, would county residents and workers support a move by Occupy NoVA to occupy a local park or square?


  • Go occupy a classroom or job fair please.

    • TGEoA

      Or a shower.

      • geezer

        goddam longhaired hippies get off my lawn!

    • Ballstonian

      Certainly people have a right to peaceably assemble, and while the frustration at the perceived and real problems with Wall Street is understandable, I’m still fuzzy as to what the goals of the movement are. I don’t see their various positions translating into a viable political platform, and, while it is not “nice,” when I look at many of those protesting, i question what jobs they were denied because of anything Wall Street may have done.

      • chipotle_addict

        >i question what jobs they were denied because of anything Wall Street may have done

        The logic is that Wall Street caused the mortgage crisis, which badly damaged our economy, which caused employers to downsize to save money. So in theory, if Wall Street didn’t ruin the economy there would be more jobs around for them. The fact that big banks got bailed out by the government with our tax dollars after causing the crisis is like pouring lemon juice on the wound.

        There are also protesters there who have been foreclosed on for not paying their mortgage, and many claim that banks used illegal foreclosure methods. Some again point out the bailout the banks got, and question why the home owners didn’t get a bailout.

        A third complaint is that the richest corporations and people don’t pay their fair share in taxes. I fully agree with the protesters on this. Whatever loopholes are used (capital gains, looking at you) need to either be completely removed or limited to 50% of the average US income per individual. Make over 500k a year? You should be in a higher tax bracket.

        I was against the bailout and those responsible for the crisis should pay. Banks engaging in illegal foreclosure methods should be investigated and penalized. But I am not sure the occupy protests will achieve any of these goals. Regardless of that, I support their right to protest.

        • Ballstonian

          I understand the “economy is bad = less jobs” concept, but many of the people protesting would likely be without jobs in any downturn of the economy regardless of the cause and protesting wall street for their own lack-of-attractiveness to employers seems like a convenient scape goat.

          I agree with your points on the bailouts, but it seems that the rallying cry (at least of some) isnt necessarily that bailouts are bad, but that they themselves should be bailed out as well (ie forgiving mortgages and student loans).

          As far as taxes go, i agree that there should be additional brackets at higher levels, but the protesters come off as simply wanting what others have, and the concept of “fairness” is amorphous. The protesters dont have a united concept of what the “fair” rate is, with some advocating a return to Clintonian levels and others wanting to have pure equality of result.

          • bemused bystander

            Presumably you’ve spent many hours talking with and listening to Occupiers in several locations in order to support your firm conclusion that many of them aren’t qualified for good jobs. Presumably, too, your opinions and those of your friends are never amorphous, fragmented or inconsistent.

            In short — judge not …

          • Ballstonian

            I am going purely off what i see in person in DC as well as what is reported by various news agencies. Clearly not everyone falls into the general category of unemployable weirdos, but those who are out there making the most noise surely don’t seem like someone who, barring the protest, would be my accountant.

            Sure my opinions and those of my friends may be fragmented, but we are also not occupying anything and trying to get the public to listen to our fragmented, inconsistent, and amorphous goals.

          • Ballstonian

            Also, i find the “judge not” comment to be a bit odd concerning that the occupy movement rallies against those in the top 1% as if they are all building their wealth on the backs of the poor.

          • drax

            The 1% are certainly not letting the poor in on any growth in wealth.

          • What are the qualifications of “the poor” person the 1% is going to interview for a job? Maybe that is part of the problem?

          • It is funny how illegals can be here without a job and they congregate at a 7 Eleven until someone picks them up for some day labor. Citizens instead complain they are not being given a fair shake or handout and decide to camp out in a park or block traffic. As much as I think illegal immigration plays into this problem, there is something these Occupants can learn from them.

          • Ballstonian

            “The 1% are certainly not letting the poor in on any growth in wealth.”

            That’s true. I’m not a 1%er, but i definitely do everything in my power to prevent those who have less than me from making more money.

          • drax

            No, OB, that’s not the problem. Do you think workers all have the same exact qualifications they had 30 years ago?

          • Josh S

            The “their own lack-of-attractiveness to employers” is sort of a surface-level analysis, isn’t it? But the forces moving the economy are much more complex than that. It’s the structure of the economy that is being questioned and protested. Not simply a “I don’t have a job and I need a job.” It’s more of a “the gears of the economic / political system are organized and operated in a way that distorts things in favor of a plutocracy rather than a true democracy.” Even in the distorted economy, sure, people can go out and find work at Walmart or Starbucks or even in higher paying positions. But in terms of building a middle class, sharing societies burdens, etc – the current system ain’t doing it, as evidenced by the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few and the stagnation in real wages for the vast majority of folks over the last thirty years.

          • Ballstonian

            I think you’re articulating the basic tenats of the movement far better than anyone who is actually out there protesting. You very well may be correct, but that point get lost among the squeaky wheels crying “gimme.”

          • Josh S

            What squeaky wheels crying “gimme?” In all of the coverage of the Occupiers I have consumed, I haven’t seen anyone crying “gimme.”

          • Juanita de Talmas

            What squeaky wheels crying “gimme?”

            That would be the banksters crying for more taxpayer-funded subsidies.

          • That’s nuts

            These ne’er do wells do not even realize how lucky they have it in America. Go occupy Mexico or Angola or somewhere like that and they will see just what a truly broken economic system looks like.

            The rumors of the demise of the US economic system are greatly exaggerated.

          • drax

            Typical loony logic – we’re just fine because it sucks in Angola.

          • drax

            Still, Wall Street caused the crisis.

            As for fairness, extreme wealth disparity isn’t just about that – though it certainly is, given that productivity has gone up but wages haven’t over the last 30 years. It’s about sustainability. You simply can’t keep a healthy economy going like this. It’s going to just get worse and worse for most people, and even the rich will suffer eventually.

      • Josh S

        So far, I agree there has not been a strong call for any particular reform. But it’s “Occupy Wall Street” not “March on Wall Street.” The point as of yet is still to simply make it known that the status quo is not acceptable.

        I haven’t visited any of the Occupy encampments, but I don’t think its’ necessarily correct to assume that all that are occupying at any given time are unemployed and certainly not that their number one concern is unemployment.

        I don’t get the sense that the Occupy protesters are going to be particularly open to having their voice usurped by either of the two existing major political parties. It is a movement outside of the existing political process. So to fault them for not using the political process is sort of missing the point. Except perhaps in states that allow direct access to the ballot, like California.

        All that being said, if I were to try to characterize any particular positions being held by the Occupiers, it would be to get money out of politics by overturning the Citizens United decision (by Constitutional Amendment, if necessary), fully funding elections, etc. And on the banking side, reinstating the Glass-Steagall restrictions on community banking, etc.

      • brian

        get a permit or it is illegal

    • drax

      You must have been hilarious in the civil rights era!

    • Muckman
      • drax

        Um, in Australia maybe.

        There are always a few examples of high-paid workers, sometimes true, sometimes not, to throw around. But the fact is that the average income of the bottom 90%, in America, hasn’t grown more than inflation in 30 years. Nothing. Income did grow, but only for the top 10%.

  • bobco85

    Hmm, seems like the Occupy Arlington protestors are going to converge with the Occupy DC protestors at Key Bridge. I just read an article on My Fox DC about it.

    from the article: “In D.C., protesters will march from McPherson Square to the Key Bridge starting at 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.”

    http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/occupy-dc-to-march-to-key-bridge-111711

    In summary, to all commuters: avoid Key Bridge this afternoon!

    • drax

      You could have read about it earlier than that on ArlNow. We regular readers already knew all about this.

  • Don Ager

    I voted “yes” but with the caveat that the minute they intentionally block traffic or attempt to impede the free flow of other citizens they should be sent packing and arrested if their actions warrant it.No coddling them.
    Also, since they aren’t actually occupying any place now should they be called “Meetup NoVa” instead?

  • Ed

    Waiting this late in the year to occupy anywhere + brown flip flops = frostbite; careful folks

    • SomeGuy

      Flip-flop jokes are pretty hackneyed at this point, Ed. Besides, according to popular overused stereotypes, hippies wear Birkenstocks, not flip-flops. It’s the yuppies who wear brown flip-flops, and you shouldn’t conflate the two.

      • They conflate themselves

        “fighting for a cause” but living off mommy and daddy’s money in their nice warm Arlington mcmansion wearing brown flip flops and NOT birks does not a hippie make… it’s a yuppy kid who has a degree in underwater basket weaving so he could make his parents proud and finish a case of beer in a night on his own for at least $10,000 a year. At least.

        • lame

          It’s so easy to just make up wild facts about people so you can dismiss them.

  • Roquer

    Absolutely! Stick’em in the water sewage treatment plant!

    • John Fontain

      Or the site of the future WalMart over there in Shirlington.

  • Bender

    For those voting “yes” —

    Would you still vote “yes” if the camp-out group consists largely of homeless people?

    Should the homeless — the bottom one percent — be allowed to participate as well?

    • chipotle_addict

      The homeless *already* occupy Arlington.

    • Josh S

      “allowed” to participate? How do you stop someone from participating?

    • BoredHouseWife

      the “homeless” have constitutional rights as well.

    • soarlslacker

      Yes most of us would. Have you ever met a homeless person? Have you ever helped a homeless person? Have you ever worried all winter because your friend, a homeless person, has not been seen? Have you ever been ever so relieved that your homeless friend came back to the area in the spring?
      Disliking people that you don’t know is shallow and short sighted. Many homeless are veterans. If you don’t know, you have no right to judge!

  • Vik

    I don’t have any issue with protesters “occupying” a park or square.

    It’s funny, people criticized the protesters in NYC for being there instead of DC, but when they gather in the DC area, we hear some other dumb excuse. We need more protests in this area. The government and finance have set us back to the point where I don’t think we can avert a real crisis. I agree that they need to develop a program, which is tough considering it has drawn a diverse cross-section of supporters, but the Tea Party isn’t the only group of people who are outraged at what’s happening to the country.

    • dk

      +1

  • Tre

    I support legal protests, not the “occupy” aspect. I also support occupiers occupying occupations.
    I’ll let myself out.

  • novasteve

    Seriously, other than making themselves look like fools and losers, what do these people hope to accomplish besides blocking traffic? This movement is a huge embarassment.

    • drax

      Go have a smoke, steve.

  • North A-Town Snob

    I have grown really tired of these “occupy” groups and those involved with them. I will preface all this by saying I am one of the independent swing voters who tends to be more fiscally conservative but socially, shall we say, libertarian, and have always been willing to listen to both sides of the aisle and vote accordingly.

    I see on the news that they are calling for today to be a “National Day of Action”…well, guess what occupiers, for the real 99% of us that you claim to represent, EVERYDAY is a Day of Action. We get up and go to work, sometimes at jobs we feel we are overqualified for or don’t enjoy, because we want to provide for our families and sacrifice to give them a better life. If we don’t have a job, we get up everyday and treat looking for a job as our job…we pound the sidewalks until we find something, and while we appreciate the assistance and safety net that is there for us in a time of need, we are too proud and have too much drive in life to be dependent on it. We don’t feel entitled to anything and don’t ask for handouts. We don’t cause disruptions to others lives, we don’t engage in violence, we are proud of our country and the foundations of capitalism on which it was built, we don’t fly the American flag upside-down and we certainly don’t sound like idiots preaching about marxism and socialism and how they are “fairer” than the American system. We like you might have issues with cronyism and some of your other complaints, but like adults we voice our concerns in productive means and through elections, not by “occupying” a park and having essentially a party that disrupts others lives, business, etc at an additional cost to the taxpayer due to police, sanitation, etc. While I might not have agreed with them on all their issues, and particularly some of their “leaders” (umm, Palin), at least when I saw Tea Party rallies on the news, they began and ended at set times on the same day, they seemed clean and sanitary, organized and from everything I could tell, non-violent. They proudly waved American flags, sang our National Anthem and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

    As these “occupiers” are being praised and supported by leaders of the Democratic Party whether outright in public or implicitly in the case of the President…well congrats, you have officially lost one potential vote in 2012. And if the actions of these occupiers continue to disrupt the lives of everyday people and the images and stories we see of them continue to show how they look, act, etc., I’m sure I’m not the only swing voter who will not vote for anyone supporting them.

    Rant over.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Well said!

      • NorthArlingTim

        INDEED!

    • Josh S

      I stopped reading after the “we get up and go to work” clap-trap. Yeah, yeah, so what?

      • North A-Town Snob

        Thanks for just being a poster boy for my argument. Stopping at that point exactly sums up why you probably are one of those complaining. Don’t make the extra effort to do what it takes to be successful. “So what…what’s in it for me?” Waaahh.

        • Josh S

          Look, snob, it’s not as if getting up and going to work somehow annoints you as one of the chosen. Your analysis of the situation is about as deep and meaningful as a mud puddle.

          Talk about a whine! “Oh, I get up and work hard everyday, I’m so great, you guys out there protesting are so lazy, etc, etc etc.” It’s so banal it’s not worth reading.

          The point is, you’re not adding anything to the debate. Your long (for the internet) screed is perhaps intended to reveal some deeper truth and bury those protesting under the power of your insight and wordly experience in the ways of the system. But it does none of those things, snob. Perhaps it serves to reassure yourself. But it makes no difference to those protesting or the things they are protesting against. The assumptions in your post are so patently absurd, so baseless as to render the entire message moot.

          • drax

            +1,000,000

    • drax

      Yes, every day is a day of action.

      And every day, you work a little harder, you get a little better at your job, you learn more or get training, you get new technology, you may work more hours, and as a result you produce more. And you’ve gotten nothing more to show for that.

      Since 1979, the average income for the bottom 90% of workers grew by nothing, after inflation. Production did go up – but ALL the spoils went to the top 10%.

      That’s what this is about. And it affects everyone, not just the unemployed. At least 90% of us.

      • wat

        “Production” is not an asset that can go into someones bank account. Consumption and spending is what generates profits.

        Wrap your mind around that type of thinking and then go back and look at spending by all consumers over the past 30 years when their wages were adjusted to keep up with inflation.

        You will get a different outlook on this whole thing.

        • drax

          Consumption and spending generates…production. As production increases, incomes should too. They did – for the top 10%. For the rest of us, they didn’t.

          If consumer spending grew in 30 years, it’s only because consumers ran up huge debt! It’s not because they had more in income to spend, because they didn’t. That’s not a sustainable economy.

          I stand by all my statements.

          • wat

            You have confused productivity with production in the traditional sense of the term.

            It makes it nearly impossible to figure out what your even trying to say.

          • drax

            You’re the one trying to confuse yourself, wat. I was clear in my first post.

            Worker productivity is up. Wages aren’t. That sucks.

            Clear?

          • wat

            It’s clear that you posting about this all day on some blog is probably part of the reason wages do not need to be raised.

          • Sam

            Worker productivity is up because of advances in technology.

            In a very short time, we’ve gone from a few people “needed” in a copy room because the contraptions were as big as a small car to produce copies and broke down frequently; to small, compact, high volume copiers you can have for a lot less money in a smaller area that needs little human intervention. Thus, no people needed to fix it; and less humans needed to “man” the machine to wait for the copies. Now, send it via computer, get it back in 5 minutes instead of 30 minutes for the same size.

            Just one, tiny example…from people who actually have worked long enough to understand how and why productivity has increased.

            I shouldn’t get paid more because it takes me less time to produce copies because of technology – my skills haven’t increased. Yes, that sucks, but people should get paid based on their real value to the business, not the perceived value they’ve created in their heads about their skills.

          • Josh S

            You are absolutely right, Sam. Productivity has gone up because of technology, which makes it possible to multiply the output of individuals at increasingly smaller marginal costs. So more and more people are on the margins. While a smaller and smaller crowd reaps the rewards.

            This is not sustainable, nor is it particularly desireable. (Unless you are the 1%, to borrow a term.) So the question is – what to do about it? I think the OWS protesters are asking that question and trying to make the point that we can’t simply continue to ignore it. Some of them would, probably, be happy with a handout. But I don’t think most of them would. I think most people are happiest with meaningful and productive work. So, how do we handle the situation? Cause technology won’t stop. The marginalization of the worker continues every day. But the human being doesn’t go away. What to do? That’s the question.

          • drax

            Wat,

            It’s clear you have nothing substantive to say, or facts to add.

            And you’re busy posting here too. Notice that?

          • I would agree with you, drax, that consumer debt increased and that was the main source of the problem. I do not know if your claim about inflation-corrected wages remaining flat is accurate or not. Let’s say it is. If true, that isn’t exactly unhealthy if the debt had not risen. It would be self-sustaining since wage increases met inflation. So, why should the burden be on the wealthiest to redistribute the wealth so that a higher debt load can be realized by the middle class? If anything, the wealthy should be incentivized to spend more of their money creating more production, more consumption, more jobs….

            I would be willing to bet certain disciplines in the middle class have seen halfway decent wage growth over the last 30 years while others have not. Someone with an engineering degree is likely more wage stable than someone with a degree in Art History or English Lit.

          • Josh S

            It’s a myth that keeping taxes low on the rich equals job growth. A complete myth. Perhaps the greatest boom in economic activity, job growth, and raising standards of living for all occurred in this country from about 1945 to about 1970. During that time, taxes on the wealthy and corporations were much higher than they are now. The last major tax cut for the wealthy occurred at the beginning of the Bush administration roughly ten years ago. There has been no boost to the overall economy since that time, only an increase in the wealth disparity and an increase in public debt.

          • Patrick

            The main reason the US was able to prosper under such anti growth government policies was a direct result of the manufacturing capabilities of our main economic rivals, i.e. europe and japan, being destroyed in WWII. Thus any attempt at comparing economic growth during that time period to the last 30 years is apples to oranges and intellectually dishonest.

          • Josh S

            Actually, Pat, you’re the one who shifted the ground. The point that Obee was making is that the “wealthy should be incentivized to spend more of their money creating more production, more consumption, more jobs…” Now, I did take the liberty of interpreting “incentivize” to mean lower taxes. I’m just making the point that lowering taxes has not been shown to increase jobs.

          • drax

            Wat – it’s hilarious to hear YOU whine about “arguing for the sake of arguing.” Really hilarious.

          • drax

            But worker productivity is up! Why would you say it’s okay that wages don’t go up too?

            Would you be happy if your income didn’t rise – that you only got a pay raise to meet inflation – in three decades of your career?

            I don’t know what you mean about a higher debt load. If wealth were shared better, there would be less consumer debt, not more.

            On average, incomes haven’t risen for the bottom 90%. That’s an average though. Here’s an interactive chart showing my numbers:

            http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/pages/interactive#/?start=1979&end=2008

          • wat

            Anyone who does the same job for 30 years and does not get a promotion is probably a burger flipper.

          • drax

            Wat –

            90% of the income distribution is what you’re talking about. It’s somewhere above 100 million people. It likely includes you.

            Not all are burger flippers.

            Wishing the problem away won’t help.

          • drax

            And that’s the point – average incomes didn’t go up beyond inflation EVEN FOR PEOPLE WHO GOT PROMOTIONS.

            Unless you manged to get to the top 10%, of course.

          • wat

            There is no immutable law that says a burger flipper today should get paid more in today’s dollars than one who flipped burgers in the 50’s.

          • drax

            It’s not penetrating your head, is it, wat?

            The bottom 90% is not just burger flippers. It’s most of us, maybe even you.

          • wat

            It is called a metaphor.

            So naive.

          • drax

            And your metaphor sucks. It doesn’t reflect reality.

            Yeah, it’s not sinking in.

          • wat

            Actions speak louder than words. Go march with your Occupy brothers right now. Otherwise, you’re just arguing for the sake of being annoying.

          • If you got a promotion, you are NOT in the same position for 30 years, and your income did go up more than inflation. Why would you expect that the same job, with the same job output, should get an increase in pay beyond inflation? That makes little sense.

            Promotions, and the pay increases associated with them, come about because a worker is productive and/or educated allowing him/her to fit a higher paying role. Sitting around complaining that I’m not seeing an increase in my pay beyond inflation for producing a widget at the same rate I’ve done for the last 15 years is ridiculous.

          • drax

            Okay, let me try this one more time:

            “If you got a promotion, you are NOT in the same position for 30 years, and your income did go up more than inflation.”

            Yet it didn’t.

            Over the last 30 years, the average income for the bottom 90% of wealth distribution has not gone up past inflation. Period.

            That’s an average, so some went up and some went down (and some joined the top 10%). But no, if you got a raise it doesn’t mean you beat inflation. On average, most Americans haven’t.

            Pretty simple concept.

      • North A-Town Snob

        No, I actually believe I have plenty to show for it, because I don’t look to other’s success as a bad thing or a hindrance on me. I have been hired for jobs at multiple companies that were started and grown by someone, who then employed many people and in the process those who started the companies might have become wealthy and those they employed were given the opportunity to earn wealth themselves. Why would I hold any ill-will towards individuals and corporations who have given me and many others the opportunity to earn a living?? I’ve gotten paid a salary by these companies, I worked very hard at my various jobs while at the same time putting myself through undergrad and grad school. While my co-workers who barely put in 8 hours a day and spent more than half of those hours sitting around complaining about everything at the company, yapping about reality TV and wondering why they aren’t getting ahead, I just kept working hard, doing a good job and advanced through the ranks and as such drastically increasing my income from when I was a college grad to where I am now in my mid-30’s. I’ve bought a home. I’ve invested wisely. I’ve provided for my family. Through wise investing and savings in the last 15 years, I was able to go out on my own and start my own company. I work hard at it every day, late into most nights and sacrifice my weekends and family time. I know that is what it takes to be a success and through hard work and perseverance, the opportunities presented in this country’s system more than any other country in the world, gives me a better opportunity to succeed in my business, hopefully become very wealthy, provide even more for my family and in the process create jobs for others (currently three other people have jobs because of my hard work and sacrifice…how many paychecks do you sign on the FRONT drax??). I know that sitting around and doing nothing or putting in just what’s required, will not get you ahead in life. Those who invest and take risks with their capital and effort, deserve to reep the spoils of those risks. My parents, who came from nothing, and my grandparents who came from even less, taught me to never be envious of what others have or their success, but rather to ask what it will take to achieve their success and learn from those induviduals. Today’s society for some reason has an attitude of envy and is all about getting their “fair share”…you get what you earn in life.

        So to sum it up in response to your remark “you’ve gotten nothing more to show for that”…well, you are dead wrong. I’ve gotten a whole hell of a lot to show for it, I feel I earned every bit of it, I’m damn proud of it and in no way ashamed to admit it.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          +10!

        • drax

          “No, I actually believe I have plenty to show for it, because I don’t look to other’s success as a bad thing or a hindrance on me. ”

          Nobody said that.

          You have nothing to show for your improvement in productivity after 30 years. That’s true regardless of what others have. This is not about coveting the wealth of the rich, it’s just wanting your own wealth to grow as your output grows.

          The point of noting that the top 10% got all the increase is that there is growth out there–for someone.

          “I’ve gotten a whole hell of a lot to show for it, I feel I earned every bit of it, I’m damn proud of it and in no way ashamed to admit it.”

          Hey, good for you. But this isn’t about how you feel, it’s about cold hard numbers. The average income of the bottom 90% has not increased past inflation in 30 years. If you think not getting a raise past inflation in 30 years is okay, again, good for you. Not for most of us.

  • OX4

    Weird, I feel like we just had this discussion yesterday. Oh wait…

    • It is a passionate one and creates lots of advertising hits….

  • Abe Froman

    This is a direct result of a system that gives every kind a trophy and no grade lower than a C. Times are tough, sack up quit complaining and acting all entitled. I was lucky, when I got out of school in 93 and got a job and kept when things went south in 94. My cousin spent 2 years waiting tables before he got a good job. These kids need to find some intestinal fortitude start acting like adults with responsibilities rather than babies who have been handed everything.

    BTW, I wonder how many of these kids will be wearing $100 jeans to the protest. lol.

    • Vik

      Nice job completely missing the point of the Occupy Wall St. movement. A lot of this misconception that people have is the fault of organizers of the Occupy protests but these protests were not intended to be a bunch of young people pissed off that they don’t have jobs. That’s not at all what it’s about. Read books/blogs/etc. or watch documentaries about finance and gov’t intermingling, learn about what the Fed and central banks do, what the IMF does, the advantages and disadvantages of free trade agreements, and you will see that there is substance to the protests despite the media and opposition to the protests (who are largely right-wingers and/or people perpetually cynical of any activism) portray. A few dumb asses can be found in just about every group of activists.

      I don’t think a single program from Occupy Wall St. can be crafted because there are anarchists, libertarians, socialists and people from other schools involved who won’t agree on a remedy. But, it should at least open people’s eyes. Anytime we try to fix a problem in this country, all it leads to is more infighting and some of the people who cause problems just skate by unimpeded.

    • drax

      Why don’t you just assume they’ll all be wearing $100 jeans? That’s much easier than actually backing your opinions with facts and stuff.

  • Josh S

    How does one have the gall to vote “yes, but not near me”? Talk about yellow-bellied, mamby-pamby, lilly-livered, weaselly.

    • Quoth the Raven

      I think the point of that vote (at least to me) is that you’re saying that it’s OK for them to protest, so long as they don’t disrupt traffic, getting to work, etc.

  • SJ

    I don’t have any issue with them protesting in Arlington, but I wish that they would be more deliberate about their targets instead of simply clogging up a major traffic artery for no real rhyme or reason. If they’re anti-military, why not march on the Pentagon or one of the military bases? If they’re anti-corporation, why not storm a corporate lobby or march in Crystal City? I guess it’s their way of drawing attention to their movement.

    • Josh S

      BING-O.

      Time-tested activism strategy.

    • drax

      They are marching to Key Bridge because it represents the need for infrastructure improvements, which in turn represent the need for immediate jobs. Obama spoke there to support his jobs bill recently. That’s why this target.

      • Patrick

        So they are aligning themselves with the democrats and Obama?

        • Josh S

          Uh, no, they’re aligning themselves with the need to reinvest in our infrastructure and the fact that doing so will be a boost to the economy / create jobs. If Boehner and the Rebublicans want to advocate for that tomorrow, that would be great.

          • RP

            It was already tried once and failed.

            http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=47262

          • Boomtown Rat

            I understand that infrastructure jobs and rehiring laid-off teachers will create jobs, but what if you’re not a construction worker or a teacher? Do you have to stay unemployed until the economy gets better and jobs trickle down (or up)?

          • drax

            Construction workers and teachers will take the money and spend it, and that will support other jobs, which will generate more spending, etc. It’s the multiplier effect.

      • I wonder how many of them are actually qualified to engineer a bridge replacement?

      • Burger

        If there was only some type of infrastructure project that would generate 20,000 jobs with out costing a dime of taxpayer money…oh, wait. There was it was the Keystone Pipeline just nixed by Obama.

  • NoVapologist

    A DC Police van has been parked at the VA end of the Key Bridge all morning. Now there are some unmarked Virginia police cars stationed in the little park across from the Marriott.

    Also, the building in which I work (Rosslyn) is owned by Brookfield – the same firm that owns Zuccotti Park in NY. they have announced that they will be “securing” the doors to our building and adding extra security this afternoon. One of their buildings in DC was “occupied” earlier this week after the OWS protesters were kicked out of Zuccotti.

    Should be a fun afternoon in sleepy old Rosslyn!

  • charlie

    GET UP AND PROTEST!!!
    I’m an over educated well paid comfortable resident of north Arlington.

    the economy stinks right now. and there are a ton of people who are finally realizing that they’ve been getting the short end of the stick for years and it will continue. for decades.

    do not under-estimate this social unrest. it might be slow. it might destroy your afternoon commute (how absolutely arrogant and self-centered are you people?). it might make the park you sat in once last summer for lunch with your secretary look a little bedraggled.

    THESE PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE JOBS. AND SOME OF THEM ARE STUCK AT THE BOTTOM RUNG OF THE ECONOMIC LADDER and THEY ARE NOT LEAVING IT. EVER.

    Social unrest is the downfall of government. I hope these people keep working it. I might even drive over Key Bridge in my car and get stuck just to show my support.

    bunch of economic snobs here.

    • dk

      +1

      Like Charlie, I’m over educated and well-paid–nowhere near the top 1 percent, but comfortable. Certainly more comfortable than my own parents were. But I fear I could be a member of the last American generation to do better than its parents. I fear for my children’s future. I especially fear they will be living in my basement. 😮

    • PikerGirl

      I am an over-educated, well-paid comfortable South Arlington resident who sympathizes with some of the ideas of the protesters but I am too busy working to join their protest. However, I have donated funds online for their cause so that is at least one way I can show some support.

      North A-Town Snob, what do you want, a gold star for your efforts? I will give you one. Feel better now? Yes, you are so successful you have no empathy for those less fortunate than you or have not been able to work through the system as well as you. Your rant about your coworkers make me believe that is the source of your grinding ax.

      But something is wrong with this country when the income gap gets bigger and bigger – this causes social instability that will affect everyone. You see it in other countries like Egypt where all the wealth and power got too concentrated. Our govt is too influenced by corporations and lobbyists and the amount of money involved in political campaigns is getting to be obscene. What does it get us?- a more dysfunctional govt less concerned and capable about dealing with real problems we all face.

  • LifeorLiberty

    As an enclave of wealthy privileged hipsters, North Arlington residents are more likely to be in the 1%, or at least aspire to be,rather than protesting it

    • drax

      You can be in the 1% AND protest, you know. You can care about more than your own immediate self-interest.

      • novasteve

        So why aren’t you donating all that extra money to others? I mean you could have just so much more money to give away if you chose to live further out and didn’t have your huge mortgage payment or rent.. Why are you being so selfish?

        • drax

          They don’t want my money, novasteve, so I’m not going to donate it to them.

          You should try learning the actual issues instead of the ones you make up in your head.

      • arbitrary

        A 1%er who really does want change has the means and opportunity to do a helluva lot more than just ‘occupy’ !

        • drax

          Quite true. But they could still participate to show their support.

          • arbitrary

            Oh, so if you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter ?

          • drax

            Grease?

          • Dr. Goodhead

            ; )

            Is that you Sir Hugo ?

    • Dobie Gillis

      Once again someone who has no idea what a ‘hipster’ is.

      • Maynard G Krebbs

        Go, Daddy-o.

        • Zelda Gilroy

          I’m probably the only one on here who knows who you two are.

  • Novanglus

    If they have a specific beef with an agency in Arlington (FDIC, DEA, NSF, Pentagon, etc), I wouldn’t mind the inconvenience of them camping outside those buildings to make their point.

    But if they just want to choose a park to camp out in — serving no useful political purpose — they might as well be in Luray. It’s nice there this time of year.

    • drax

      One way or the other, they’re all going to either end up at the Capitol. If they’re at all smart.

      • Hmm

        IDK.. K street seems the perfect target to me.

        Choosing McPherson Square was very strategic.

  • Swag

    I’d like to thank Occupy NoVA (yes, all 20 of you) for instilling enough (irrational) panic in my bosses that they’re closing our office at 3pm today.

  • Murray Gittelman is 90, a proud World War II veteran, a longtime union man and supporter of causes who marched on Washington in 1963 for civil rights, so it was only natural he would make his way down to Occupy Wall Street.

    “I feel the shape this country is in, with so many people unemployed, the government is broke, Congress won’t do anything…I went down in support,” he said.

    • novasteve

      You’d think he’d understand how much worse the great depression was and how people weren’t such entitled lazy bums back then.

      • drax

        You don’t know squat about the Great Depression, steve.

        • Carl

          More Grade A analysis from mehoo.

          • drax

            About as good as novasteve’s.

  • ArlingTony

    I support them protesting, especially the protesting for lack of jobs and the need for infrastructure improvements, which will lead to jobs.

    To that end the government should set up two booths, one on the Georgetown side and one of the Rossyln side with shovels and buckets of blacktop. A new WPA. They can get to work fixing the roads or hop on a bus and head out to Loudon County and start digging for the SIlver Line.

    They get minimum wage, a standard issue tent (or bunk in a workers barracks), and three meals a day. If they can take that training and apply to a job in the private sector, good. In the mean time we get the infrastructure we need, they get a job (and a roof and food…a worker’s paradise). Win-win.

  • Alberta

    Three cheers for the Occupation Forces. All who value free speech should thank these people for doing our heavy lifting for us. As far as I’m concerned, they can occupy Arlington or DC or New York or Oakland or anywhere whenever they want. Take the White House if you can. The streets belong to the people. The government belongs to the people. The resources of the earth belong to the people. It’s about time we took them. And for those who think the movement has unclear objectives, since when did you need an objective to join together with your fellow man and take what’s yours? Articulation of objectives is just talk. It’s for those who have the luxury of time to philosophize and intellectualize. Talk does not effect change. Talk is the opposite of action. Action is the only instrument of change available to the 99%.

  • Laura

    Totally agree w/Charlie above. I too am an over-educated and well-paid govt. worker who lives in Arlington. I’m ‘sad’ to hear that the commutes of many here will be incovenienced by the protesters. At least you HAVE a commute. Thank your lucky stars that you have a job and are probably middle class (or higher), probably have a college education (or a higher degree), and don’t go to bed hungry at night. I absolutely agree with the protesters and I hope they cause more havoc and get more people off their comfortable butts to get out there and protest, like I’m doing. I’m not economically empoverished, but I have empathy and I understand that a lot of my fellow Americans are in deep economic trouble right now and the problems is not going away. Many of them are in trouble due to no fault of their own (so I’m NOT talking here about people who milk the system and are lazy; yes, there are those too, but I’m sure they don’t bother going to protests). There was a very interesting article in the NYTimes a few days ago about the shrinking middle class in America. Actually, there seem to be more and more articles every day, in a variety of news sources, about the growing gap (it’s been happening since the 70s) between the rich and poor in this country (here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/us/middle-class-areas-shrink-as-income-gap-grows-report-finds.html?_r=1&scp=5&sq=inequality&st=cse). I’m middle/middle-upper class (according to my tax records and U.S. census numbers) so the state of the economy definitely affects people I know and will for sure affect my progeny. Protesting is a way of participating in our hard-won democracy, damn it, and letting those in power know that they respond to US, the people. If you look at many other countries, protesters are being killed just to exercise that right. I feel I’m priviledged to live in this great country and will definitely exercise my right to protest. If some of you are inconvenienced, so be it, but most will be fine with it, in others words no actual harm will come to you, so deal with it.

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