Here's a riddle: what is red and yellow and could go on a hot dog? If you guessed ketchup and mustard, think again.
Late last month, two San Diego street vendors who sold hot dogs and coffee had their carts attacked by some Occupy San Diego protestors in the Civic Center Plaza. Originally, the vendors distributed free food and drinks out of goodwill and to show support for the movement. However, when they switched back to selling their products, some protestors became angry and aggressive towards the vendors. The protestors sprayed graffiti on the carts, stole the vendors' cooking equipment and even issued death threats. They vandalized the hot dog cart even more by splashing blood and urine all over it.
There are two words to describe the actions of these protestors: juvenile and disgusting.
Ever since Occupy Wall Street (OWS) began on Sept. 17, the Occupy movement has spread to a couple dozen other cities across the U.S. Accompanying the movement's diffusion is the intense media coverage of all the participating cities. A lot of airtime has been allotted to discuss the OWS movement's goals (or lack thereof, at first) and the controversy over police mistreatment of the protestors. However, not much has been reported on about the poor behavior of some Occupy movement protestors.
Let's look at a few examples closer to home. Last Friday night, a 78 year old conservative woman was assaulted by Occupy D.C. protestors outside a "Tribute to Ronald Reagan" dinner at the D.C. Convention Center. She was pushed down the stairs and ended up being sent to a hospital for multiple injuries. Other reported incidents, including one that involved a motorist hitting protestors after they jumped in the car's path, resulted in the injuries of four other people that same evening.
It is disappointing and sad to hear these stories because a large majority of Occupy protestors aren't out there to "have a good time" or attack people. They include those who have lost their jobs, homes and health benefits or who are struggling to make ends meet. Most Occupy protestors are trying to bring change, not pushing down old ladies or spray blood and urine on people's belongings. They're fighting for what they believe in.
But the minority that misbehaves is shaming the movement. Just because a person happens to be of another political background does not validate any reasoning behind shoving her down the stairs. Just because some hard-working citizens refused to give any more of their products away for free does not give the offenders the right to vandalize their businesses.
And just because people label themselves as "Occupy protestors," they still do not have the authority to attack others when they don't see eye to eye. It's incredibly unfortunate that the faults of a silly few will leave a stain on the entire movement.
Brittany Cheng. <br>Brittany Cheng ('13) served as co-Editor-in-Chief of Silver Chips Online (SCO) with <a href = "http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/staff/698">Langston Taylor</a> during the 2012-2013 school year. During their tenure, Cheng and Taylor led the site's front page makeover with technical staff members Prashan Dharmasena and Jessica Shi, incorporated live-blogging ... More »