What’s it all about?

Yesterday, Art Park, Lancaster … [NOTE: photos at the end of this article]

Does the Occupy Lancaster movement confound you? Do you know what these folks are trying to do? Do you know what they are protesting? Do you support them or support those who drive by the park at North Prince and Chestnut Streets and shout out, “Get a job?” Do you know any of them? [NOTE: We were told that a number of the occupation citizens already have jobs; they come to the Art Park after work to lend support.]

Columbia news, views & reviews has been asking these questions for several weeks now; we have posted numerous articles about the movement locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Columbia’s Cole Umber has posted several exceptional articles with lots of photographs, too.

We have read scores of articles, postings and information sites to try to find singular answers or concepts. Mostly, that’s been an arduous odyssey without a prize. We’ve found these kinds of comments:

“Why protest in Australia? NEWSFLASH: Globalisation happened. Australians are not isolated morally or economically from the rights of Chinese factory workers or the destruction of forests in Malaysia or Indonesia or the too-big-to-fail/bail-out policy of Washington. (SOURCE: Blog comment, Australia)

“When people have an opportunity to speak about it, and we then see truth silenced by police and regulated by false media news stories, it brings back our sanity again. It gives us reconfirmation, that we are being lied to, and we are not alone. (SOURCE: Blog comment, Great Britain)

“Maybe not everyone can understand it, but today’s hours of Roman resistance have stated clearly that rebellion against debt, sacrifices, elites and austerity is possible, and can unite. (SOURCE: Blog comment, Italy)

On Tuesday and yesterday, we visited with the loose assemblage of people at Art Park to try to gain a better understanding of the movement locally. There are photographs at the end of this article and there will be follow-up articles in the coming days and weeks as we follow this movement.

By now, most people are aware of the news about the mass arrests in Atlanta and Oakland, California. It is curious that Columbia news, views & reviews touched on this potential overreaction a few weeks ago in this article: “Hypocrisy: do as I say not as I do.”

The curtailing of first amendment rights must be taken seriously; as Americans, we take great pride in the notion that people have the protected right to disagree with government. We take great pride that our nation has asked other nations to follow that “human right.”

Look at these examples and as you ask “What?”

August, 2008 … “We press for openness and justice not to impose our beliefs, but to allow the Chinese people to express theirs.” – former President George Bush (Source:  Melbourne (Australia) Herald Sun)

June, 2009 … “ … the Iranian Foreign Ministry chastised American officials for “interventionist” statements.” (SOURCE: New York Times)

January, 2011 … U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “”We urge the Egyptian authorities not to prevent peaceful protests …” (SOURCE: New York Post)

May, 2011 … President Obama delivers “Arab Spring” speech; “‘There are times in the course of history when the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has been building up for years,’ the president said, comparing Bouazizi’s actions to ‘the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a king, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat.’ – (SOURCE: ABC News)

October 20, 2011 … Woman describes “How I was arrested at Occupy Wall Street.”

October 25, 2011 … Occupy protesters arrested in Oakland, California; Ashville, North Carolina; San Jose, California and Atlanta, Georgia.

Are you confounded? Do you begin to get a sense or an indication that maybe the Occupy movement may be about inconsistency? About hypocrisy? About loss of direction and ethics? About broken promises? About elected public servants serving corporations and special interest groups rather than the interests of the universal constituency? About ersatz foreign policies? About ecology and pollution of resources? About First Amendment rights?

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