Staff editorial 11/17: Protesters not making progress

Occupy Wall Street and its sister movements around the country have been a fixture in the news for the past few months. Due to a general lack of progress, protestors have continued to camp out in public places for extended periods of time, and many camps are now dealing with restrictions placed upon them by outside entities.

In Miami, the Occupy movement suffered a setback last week when Miami-Dade County revoked the permit issued to the protestors for sitting in at Government Center. The Miami New Times reported that a spokesman for the county said that the protestors are not getting kicked out of the area; rather, a crane will be moving in to that spot for construction work. The movement will apparently be able to reapply for a permit when the crane leaves.

Similarly, in New York City, Occupy Wall Street is facing intense opposition from the police in recent weeks. Protestors are no longer allowed to use tents or generators at their camp, and police arrested more than 200 people in a surprise raid. BBC News reported that Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this was carried out because of public health and safety concerns.

A New York City judge ruled that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution does not entitle protestors to camp out indefinitely because of reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. Bloomberg believes that protestors are endangering the public and, because they have been taking over public spaces, this is a legitimate possibility.

The Occupy movement has no real organization. There is no leader and no concrete goal. While this country was built on the principle of free speech, we are only free to act and express our ideas as long as we don’t infringe upon the rights of others. Participants of the Occupy movements, while generally nonviolent, are preventing others from using property that they have a right to use and disrupting the operations of nearby businesses.

Everyone has the right to let their voice be heard, Occupy protestors included. However, the movement seems to be all bark and no bite, with little to nothing being accomplished. It is unreasonable for them to remain where they are for an indefinite period of time while essentially being ineffective.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

November 16, 2011


The Miami Hurricane

5 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Staff editorial 11/17: Protesters not making progress”

  1. Jason says:

    To the editorial board of The Miami Hurricane: Thank you for putting in writing to the UM Community what 99% of the country believes. I’m disappointed in some of our students for being a part of this–truly disappointed.

  2. The Miami Hurricane says:

    Aren’t journalists supposed to go find out the truth and not just read a recap on foxnews.com?

  3. Robert Wagenseil says:

    Congratulations! The Miami Hurricane has decided to propagate the same rhetoric as the mainstream media, an infotainment industry driven by corporate interests. Had you actually done the slightest bit of research, such as visiting Occupy’s website and social media pages, you would see that there are indeed concrete goals. Perhaps if you dug a little deeper by actually going to the protests and speaking with the protesters, you would see why this movement is this powerful, unique, and successful. Your argument is one-sided and you fail to mention the instances of police brutality, restrictions of protester’s freedom of speech, and the blatant bias in the mainstream media. As a publication at a higher-education institution, this supposed majority view of the “editorial staff” appears uninformed, small-minded and unimaginative. Our students are already politically and socially apathetic. By expressing this opinion, you only make this worse. As a Hurricane, I am ashamed that this perspective represents the newspaper for the student body.

  4. Elizabeth Weintraub says:

    To the editorial board of the Miami Hurricane: regarding your editorial on the Occupy protests in today’s paper, I would like to thank you for perpetuating the stereotype that most media outlets in this country continue to feed off of and mindlessly regurgitate the same set of misrepresentations and misnomers about the national and global movement. Please stop thinking that by constantly repeating the idea that us being leaderless and goal-less (this second part, not even being true), that you are fairly or properly representing this movement. Or, for that matter, convincing anyone that those characteristics are actually bad or undesirable. Congratulations. The fact that you can recount recent stories of park evictions and police brutality means you’ve read the same news headlines from the same news sources as the rest of America. Unfortunately, you have obviously failed to do your jobs as independent journalists to dig any deeper than the most superficial coverage of these events and this movement. Had you bothered to look, or even to visit an occupy site, you would’ve found that there are clear goals and demands. Everyone has them and you are just trying not to hear them because it’s easier to be a naysayer than imagine that a better, fundamentally different society is not only possible, but actually being conceptualized. Through an editorial like this, all you are doing is giving an already apathetic and apolitical UM student body more reason to recoil even further in disinterest and confusion, which I consider to be a great disservice to this campus and to society in general. You have a right to state your opinion just as much as the occupiers have a right to stand for their, but at least we have the guts to have open and honest dialogue about it. When you hide behind the pseudonym “the majority views of Hurricane Editorial board,” not only does is make me never want to pick up a Miami Hurricane ever again, but makes me sad to know that student journalists are not even willing to own up to their own, individual views.

  5. anonymous says:

    I think the title of this editorial and its content say two very different things. The content is that the strategy of the occupy protest infringes upon the rights of other to use public space for leisure, and that by occupying places like Zuccutti park in NY and goverment center in downtown Miami, ALL people dont have access to that space anymore. But while it is true that Wall street execs cannot eat their lunch in a nearby park, the use of public space to have the kinds of discussions that occupy generates is by no means using public space inefficiently.
    Likewise, to say that occupy makes those spaces hazardous or harmful condones the militaristic response that peaceful protesters have been met with by law inforcement and threatened politicians. Meeting fire with fire in the case of occupy would simply require the use of police megaphones to respond to occupy’s human-mic. But instead, police come clad in riot gear, shooting rubber projectiles, tear gas, and use batons to jam in protesters stomachs– lets be real. the threat is not occupy but unequal use of force that its being used to “contain” it.
    in response to Tuesdays late-night eviction of the protesters in zuccotti park, occupwallst.org coined a phrase i like– “you cannot kill an idea whose time has come”
    getting back to the supposed title of this piece-” protesters not making progress”. let me give you some examples of progress.
    1. as I’ve already highlighted the police brutality at occupy sites, its important to shine on a light on the upside of indiscriminate police violence. its shows that they’re threatened and intimidated by the masses and our message. and it shows that while we think we live in a country with freedom of speech and public assembly, when that speech is critical of the ethos of big business and corrupt politics, the real state of affairs rears its head. essentially, occupy has played the scapegoat in highlighting america’s military industrial complex. and while that has one one hand kept sympathizers paralyzed on the couch in fear of getting roughed up in a peaceful protest, it has ignited the fire under the butts of others who now stand with us.
    2. since the 1970’s when the income gap in this country started to steadily increase, the discussion of poverty, inequality, and income disparity plateaued in literature and news publications. That steady stream of silence continued until just recently, when a sudden spike in the content of editorials was discussing these issues once again. THIS IS NO COINCIDENCE. THIS IS THE POWER OF OCCUPY. occupying public space is not just an opportunity to have conversations in your neighborhood park about things that are wrong with this country, but has given the media an opportunity to have these conversations at the national and global level. THAT IS PROGRESS.
    3. this movement has gone viral, and to say that a month’s worth of the wall street protests having given birth to 60 other occupations around this nation isnt PROGRESS… well then its a difference over semantics.
    4. Finally (although I could site the bank of american withdrawl of their fees, and countless other small consumer v. industry changes, as progress) i would like to say how disgraceful it is that a media outlet at an educational institution would perpetuate the monotone criticism of general society and call it ‘the majority view of the miami hurricane’. “There is no leader and no concrete goal”
    what happened the last time that we put all our faith into a messiac leader? yeah– im pretty sure he disappointed me as much as he disappointed you.
    please try and recognize that in having no leader, this movement cannot be co-opted, or stand for anything other than the individual opinion of one person carrying that particular sign. please try and recognize that the movement having no concrete goal is wrong– get money out of politics. BAM, i said it.. ask me how im gonna do it? just wait and see..
    as one last note, I would encourage you all to think about how childish, short-sighted, and ignorant (and on the other hand, telling of our generation) that in 2 months of a nation-wide social movement, you’re complaining about no progress. this is simply symptomatic of our immediate-gratification, A.D.H.D generation who would like everything spoon-fed to them in an easily digestible message. SORRY, but the problems of this nation are convoluted and complex. the banking system is messy (and no, bankers are not the only ones who understand it). and democracy is slow and arduous. BUT SO WORTH IT…

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.