October 12, 2011
Five Points Park / Occupy Sarasota - Analaysis
My friend, Estelle G, let me know this morning that she has relatively little interest in politics, but she wants to follow the Occupy news. She went on to say that only one issue in the recent past has left her hot and bothered. It wasn't the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It wasn't the ballooning federal deficit. No, Estelle was upset last Spring, when the City of Sarasota removed park benches from the lovely downtown Five Points Park. See the story. The City of Sarasota removed the benches from Five Points Park so that homeless people who gathered there would have no place to sit! Evidently, condo owners with views overlooking the park felt their safety and property values were under siege. Never mind that nobody was violating any laws. Never mind that many other city residents enjoyed the benches. And what, exactly, bothered Estelle about this decision? It was that moneyed interests had gotten the City to react with such heartlessness. In the same vein, many participating in the Occupy Movement take issue with moneyed interests subverting the common good. As the first declaration from Occupy Wall Street stated "... We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known..." See the full declaration. Estelle, take heart.