Opinion

Welcome to the occupiers to Whidbey Island | Editorial

The “Occupy” movement has come to Whidbey Island with demonstrations announced for today from 10 a.m. to noon at the Clinton ferry terminal and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the corner of Highway 20 and Main Street in Coupeville.

“Occupy Wall Street” started it all in New York City weeks ago and protesters are still camped out there. Since then the movement has spread to Seattle, Portland and multiple other cities around the country and world. Now, it’s come to Whidbey Island.

The intent of the “Occupy” movement seems as varied as whomever you ask, but in general it expresses the public’s frustration with everything that has happened since 2008. Citizens have lost trillions of dollars in assets and/or their jobs, but many big companies have been stockpiling treasure troves of cash, often with government help. Governments are doing whatever it takes to keep the entire house of cards from collapsing, but people around the world can see that it’s teetering. There is fear that things are getting worse, not better, and that’s part of what’s sparking the Occupy movement.

Some people need to physically express their anger and concern. Taking to the streets may seem more effective than voting for representatives more concerned about making the other party look bad than with creating an economic environment in which businesses can succeed and people can find jobs. These are precarious times indeed and the presence of peaceful people on the street is beneficial. It shows the politicians that the people are getting restless and their own jobs are in jeopardy. Yahoos who cause property damage and start fights with police and others should be arrested.

The right to assemble peaceably is guaranteed by the First Amendment, so we should welcome those participating in Occupy Whidbey. And while they’re in Coupeville, maybe they can buy lunch or a few gifts from the shops, thereby helping the economy in a concrete way.

 

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