Occupy Norfolk?!

Yep, its Saturday, October 7, 2011, and I'm posting. I said yesterday that there'd be no Occupy Chesapeake, well I was a bit off as I got word of an Occupy Norfolk springing up. My journalistic gonads churned besieging me with a need to get my pasty ass down there. I heard they were congregating at the ball park, so as soon as I knocked off work I headed straight there.

Got to see the new light rail. Pretty spiffy.

I drove up to the parking lot scanning the area and muttering "here hippy hippy hippy", and I found them! Both of them! I was thinking this had to be the most anti-climatic thing ever, but they were there with their signs, so I figured I best go talk to them.

Turns out they were sitting there telling people where the actual protests were going on. They were using the parking lot at the ball park as kind of a home base. I happened across Chris, one of the event organizers. They were going to use the nearby park, but there was a problem with the permits, so the police told them they could use the parking lot. The headquarters consisted of a couple of ladies sitting in lawn chairs with signs.

Really? No "Hell no, we won't go?"

I talked with Chris, the two sign holding ladies and a two other people that were there. One of them was a young lady would attends the local community college She was there "for her generation", because she's not seeing much of a future for them the way things are going. I asked her what she wanted to see accomplished by this demonstration and what would be a sort of a 'mission accomplished' for her. She didn't really have an answer for me. I got the feeling from her that she didn't really know what to do about things, but felt a real need to do something.

I got more answers from Chris. This protest, unlike the mob up in new York, is working in careful coordination with the Norfolk Police Department. They are hoping to be an example of how this should be done properly. I swear, it seemed like he had read my post from yesterday and built his game plan on it. They are being very careful to do thing legally. He was also very clear as to what their message is, which I'll get to in a minute.

The two ladies were interesting. One was very concerned with trade inequities, as well as fairness with the taxes concerning that pesky 1% of the population that makes the most money. She said it would probably be fair if they paid 39% of their money in taxes. I'm sure they would greatly appreciate the tax cut. The other lady was a bit more fired up. She was upset at the thought of a CEO paying less in taxes than a bus driver. I guess she didn't do the research showing that's bullshit, or she had seen the reports and just didn't believe them. She voted for Obama last time around and was set on voting for him again.

Let it be known right now that I, as a proper and professional wanna-be journalist, was completely in control of myself and didn't laugh in her face and ask what flavor the Kool-Aid was.

Now, let's get into the four main points that they wanted to push with this dealio.

Getting the money out of politics. Really, there's no way to do this. Politicians need money to run their campaigns, and they get hefty amounts from companies. The real problem is the lobbyists. Those are the people whose jobs it is to look after company's interests, and that involves shmoozing the politicians and promising hefty donations. I'm all for this. Its one of the reasons I'm all for the Fair Tax. It would eliminate Lobbyists.

The government needs to be responsible for its spending. I think that's something everyone outside the beltway would like to see. Kinda shocked that the Obama fan would want to be involved with this.

Raising voter awareness. Like I said in my previous post, the real change is going to come from people going to the ballot box.

Getting back the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Such a good Conservative message surprised me. I have to wonder if this message is being echoed up in New York. It started to sound like a Tea Party Rally as far as the message, except for the class warfare bits that kept popping up.

They were all pretty upset about the state of things. I thinks they're focused completely on the wrong target, but there's one thing that did give me some hope. Aside from the Obama fangirl, the rest of the people there weren't in his camp. One guy was a Ron Paul supporter. The others were pretty much in a wait and see who's actually running in the election mode, which is completely understandable as its early in the process.

This is likely going to go better than the New York thing mainly because they aren't being idiots about this. They actually have a clear message and are looking to work inside the system to get that message out and make a change. Good for them. Now if they take some economics classes and get the facts as to what people actually pay in taxes, and quit listening to the idiotic talking points our Pop-Star-in-Chief keeps spewing they may get something really good going. They have completely legitimate reasons for being upset, they're just blaming the the wrong people for who's responsible for it. However, even with a sensible message and intentions, something like this does attract a kook element. There may also be unforeseen efforts by certain groups to try subvert the protest and turn it into something it isn't. The PETA national HQ is in Norfolk and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if they tried to send out some of their minions to muddy the waters. Groups like PETA don't give a damn about your message just as long as they get theirs out there.

Ah well, as they go marching wherever they're going to go marching, this guy right here is heading out to work. No Saturday morning cartoons for me. See y'all tomorrow.

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