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OCCUPY WALL STREET COMES TO MY STREET

Today during my lunch I dropped by my local bank to do some…well, banking.  On my way into the bank; at which I’ve been with for over 20 years in one variation or another, I saw something I’ve never seen before.

An armed guard.

My first thought was that there was a delivery or something form the armored car.  But no, there was no delivery truck anywhere.  He was standing out front; guarding.  He had a firearm on his side and biceps that could pass for guns.  The guard must have stood about 9 feet 2 inches, (okay, maybe not that tall, but he was very tall) and there was a permanent scowl upon his face.

When I got into the bank I talked to the manager working the line about it.

Me:      Is that a security guard out front?

Him:    Yeah, pretty tough looking, isn’t he?

Me:      Absolutely.  But why is he here?

Him:    We had some protesters out here on Friday causing problems.

Me:      Protesters, here, in Port Orchard?

Him:    Yeah, it was a part of that Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Seattle thing.

Me:      Here?  Really?  In Port Orchard?

Him:    On the corner, yes, between us and the other bank.

Me:      Wow, kind of unbelievable that we need an armed guard.  I’ve never seen that before.

Him:    I wouldn’t want him to mess with him, would you?

It was a short conversation, really.  The banker was nice enough.  Eventually he moved onto the next customer behind me and then I went up to the teller and I did my banking without any problems.  As I got back into my office this afternoon, though, I did a little research.   Turns out the local paper covered this “protest.”    The article, though short on depth or anything like journalism, does tell how many protesters there were.  There were “about a half dozen.”  That would be six.  I’ll even be generous and say maybe seven.  Seven.  That’s it.

Would you have expected it to be more like seventy if it is going to gain a newspaper article and an on-site armed guard?  A half dozen is barely a crowd around a coffee table at Starbucks.  I think the newspaper made much of nothing, and I think my bank may have slightly overreacted.  Besides, is protesting something that needs an armed guard?  I thought that protesting in a civil way was a constitutionally protected activity so long as the public is not endangered and no laws are broken.  I have a hard time believing that these half-dozen people intended to harm anyone or that any laws were broken.   They just wanted to get their voice in with the other people across the nation protesting; even if doing so is more of a fad than any kind of movement.  That corner where they were at is used all the time for various “protests” from everything to support the troops to school levy support and even car washes.

In the end, the Occupy Wall Street thing will fizzle, especially when winter comes; and I’m not too concerned about their cause because most do not really know what their cause is.  But I am worried about my town–what exactly is the armed guard going to do if the half-dozen show up again?  One certainly would hope this doesn’t escalate; but protesters and armed guards surrounded by lots of customers coming in and out feels like a receipt for disaster.

6 replies »

  1. Um… Wow. “Here? Really? In Gresham?” would have been my response, too. I have strong opinions about the whole “occupy X” thing, but I won’t voice them here. Suffice to say… I hope you and your family and your neighbors all remain safe and well during these unusual times.

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    • ooohhhhh amy i would so love to hear your strong opinions about it. i too have some opinions that i attempted to not put into the blog post. i actually wrote a blog last week about the “occupy movement” but decided not to post it because so many people in my congregation go either way on the issue, rather strongly. have you blogged about it?

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      • Oh, heavens, no! I have too many friends on both sides to make waves that way. I pick the hills I want to die on very carefully, and this is not one of them. 🙂 But you should friend my hubby on Facebook–he makes waves occasionally, and his thinking is usually pretty much in line with mine. Usually. 😉

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      • i pick my hills as well, and on filled with protesting people is not particularly savory to me either. i will go find your hubby on fb, because sometimes i like to wade out into the waves a little myself.

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  2. Enjoyed reading this. I have a hunch that many of these protesters around the country are clueless as to why they really are protesting. Sure, some of them know what they want, but I think they are the vast minority.

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    • i agree with you on much of that david. what i don’t understand is where do they find the time to protest for five weeks? that requires a radical commitment—or it demonstrates they had nothing else better to do. time will tell. i try to avoid getting political with the issue though but it is a very interesting sociological phenomena.
      thanks for the feedback!

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