AUSTIN, TEXAS – Four Occupy Austin protesters were arrested early Thursday morning for refusing to let city crews clean the plaza at Austin City Hall.
The city alerted the Occupy Austin protesters on Wednesday afternoon that they would need to vacate the plaza between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Thursday morning so that crews could come in and clean the area. After 6 a.m the protesters were told they could return.
An entirely reasonable request right?
Apparently not to some in the Occupy Austin movement.
“They just took down the tent!!” protester Fodder Roberto Godly Escamillo posted on the Occupy Austin Facebook page.
Several protesters on hand refused to leave and were handcuffed. A few of the protesters have set up tents and are actually living in front of City Hall. They became upset when cleaning crews took down the tents.
“4 people arrested so far. we better be out there in FULL FORCE tomorrow,” warned supporter Michelle Millette on the group’s Facebook page.
The Occupy Austin protest is down to a few hold outs. The local version of Occupy Wall Street just never quite caught on in Austin. Some 1,300 protesters showed up on on October, 6, the first day of the protest.
Since then, the numbers have dropped off dramatically. Most of the time only a dozen or so are on hand.
Only time will tell if the group will make the argument that cleaning the plaza is part of a grand conspiracy to neglect them of their right to protest. Many in the group seem to see conspiracy everywhere.
As the protests have worn on locally and around the country, it’s clear that the Occupy Wall Street movement is becoming more and more desperate and is embracing more and more fringe elements.
Frankly, it’s turned ugly.
In Los Angeles, protesters can be heard on bull horns preaching violence. In New York, protesters have been captured on video going on vile, anti-semitic rants about Jewish bankers and defecating on police cars. They have been joined by labor unions and have the support of many politicians, including President Obama and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
But in Austin, there has been nothing quite as extreme. Here, protesters just won’t let the city clean up after them.
The group’s main target has been corporations, banks and the wealthy.
Targeting the job creators and society’s most successful has historically not worked out too well.
The French Revolution was an uprising against the rich. It ended up ushering in the tyrannical Napoleon, who launched an seemingly endless number of wars in a grand scheme to rule the world.
The Russians tried the same thing in 1917. That ushered in communism and by the time of its collapse in the late 1980s, some 60 million Russians had been killed.
And then there is Mao Tse-Tung. He killed of the rich and killed off some 70 million of his Chinese citizens in his 27-year reign.
Cuba, Cambodia. The list goes on.
Occupy Wall Street receives sympathetic media coverage both locally and nationally. Even Iran has voiced sympathy for their cause.
The group has a basic complaint that many share. And that is a view that there is widespread corruption in American society. But placing that blame simply on society’s most successful and not on the government, which fosters the corruption, is the group’s fatal flaw.
It’s hard to tell what impact over time, if any, the Occupy Wall Street protests will have.
But in the meantime, let’s keep Austin City Hall clean please.