You know, I heard a lot of criticism of the Tea Party back in the day. But I don’t recall them do anything like this:
Police have arrested an Occupy Fort Collins protester in connection with a $10 million arson fire that damaged dozens of condominiums and businesses in Fort Collins.
Benjamin David Gilmore, 29, was arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of arson, burglary and criminal mischief.
On Oct. 24, a fire started at 3:30 a.m. in a four-story apartment complex under construction. The fire spread to the occupied Penny Flats condominium and retail building next door.
I’m sure the OWS folks will say this is just a rogue element. But these elements are becoming more and more common and, fairly or unfairly, becoming the face of the movement. The “rogue elements” are becoming a rogue movement.
The problem with the Occupy movement is the occupy part. The Tea Parties had the right idea: everyone protest then go back to work. By not creating a permanent presence, they kept things under control. But with Occupy, you have tons of people just sitting around day after day, becoming a magnet from criminals, anarchists and rapists. This has not been helped by the encouragements of certain dim-bulb mayors.
Early on, I said that I was encouraged by the Tea Party but wanted to see a coherent agenda emerge. It sorta did. But for OWS, the need is even more urgent because they have a much more intrinsically volatile situation. Occasional agendas emerge but they are lost in the howl of protest for the sake of protest and increasingly anti-social destructive behavior.
It’s time to back off, drain the dangerous energy and coalesce behind an agenda, even if it’s a liberal one. If OWS doesn’t shift to protesting FOR something, rather than against everything, this is only going to get worse.
Update: Crap like this isn’t helping either. Memo to Occupy DC — both parties are to blame.