Occupy Providence Day 8

Just a walk-through today. The fountain was turned off and the debris I saw yesterday in the basin has been cleaned up. Burnside Park is even cleaner, it’s about 10am and quiet. I have a bag of first-aid supplies, but the medical tables are unstaffed. Perhaps the first-aiders are meeting in one of the tents.

Today’s Providence Journal says that Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare is talking about eviction. I want them to keep talking. Not only as a sympathizer to the occupiers, but as a Providence taxpayer. The Occupation is keeping Burnside Park cleaner and more friendly than it’s ever been. I don’t want my cops working overtime on a non-threatening exercise of free speech.

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15 thoughts on “Occupy Providence Day 8

  1. The risk is that, come January, there will be very few protesters (if any) and a brand new homeless encampment. But if you’d rather believe this is an abstract argument about free speech, go ahead..

    • Not abstract at all. Providence is facing a homeless crisis as the number of people who will need shelter increases and the winter shelter beds are inadequate. When we get people together, recognizing their common interests, class lines and labels will lose their power to divide.

      • Clearly homelessness is a problem; that is tangential to my point.
        Should my example come to pass, and the original occupiers abandon the encampment, the resulting situation clearly qualifies as a public safety concern.

        Based on your language, I fully expect you to dismiss my suggestions out of hand, but if you honestly believe that the utopian ideals espoused in the above-linked petition will be upheld by the remaining population of homeless individuals, then you likely haven’t spent much time working with the population in question.

        I applaud your idealism, but I’d ask you to recognize that for what it is…

  2. We are going down for 4 pm — the Episcopal Church is joining the movement in a show of support for the cause. Members of the church will be there from 4 to 7 and we will be bringing food.

    • THE Episcopal Church-My wife has been a communicant of that church for about 25 years and she was at church this morning and related no such thing.Speak for YOUR congregation and no other-please.

  3. hey-Kiersten and Nancy-you’re such big time humanists-how about this?In 1983 I wound up wiyh temporary custody of three teenage minor illegal alien smuglees after a chase of a smuggler’s vehicle in Chicago.We ahd no place to lodge them so I took them home where my wife and I gav ethem supper,and a goodie bag of food for overnight,clean clothing,shower and bathroom facilities,etc.
    I wound up “babysitting” them til the morning at the INS HQ awaiting family from Wisconsin to arrive to take them in hand.
    They were witnesses against the smugglers who were a very dangerous crew.
    These kids were filthy,wet,cold and hungry.
    They may have been carrying disease,but I brought them home because it was the only decent choice I had.
    Would either of you have done the same?
    Really,now-think about it-Kiersten?You have two young kids like I did-would you fear them catching something?It crossed my mind,but I had to live with myself.
    You progressives don’t own feelings of humanity.

  4. Joe, you are truly to be honored for your selfless act in reaching out to secure the safety and comfort of three kids whose only “crime” was to be under the control of a scumbag miscreant. But now, 28 years later, you sully that selfless act by basically saying to Kiersten, “my humanism is greater than yours.”

    What is this, fifth grade? Is this what “debate” has sunk to? C’mon, you’re better than that. I’ve known Kiersten for years and have recently met Nancy and I can say without qualification or hesitancy that both work hard to represent the interests and meet the needs of those who most of us never see. Both give countless hours in service to causes in which they believe, and serve those who are too often the most vulnerable in our society.

    If you’re going to go after anyone, you ought to stick with me. Both Nancy and Kiersten are way out of your league.

    Now I wasn’t going to weigh in on this as I often have little time to post. However, there are a couple of issues raised by CT. First, while not directly attacking the constitutional implications of the Occupy Providence movement, to even suggest that any infringement on free speech rights because if allowed to continue might result in a homeless “camp” is sheer sophistry. The homeless issue in January may in fact result, but let’s see what happens and take it from there. As Nancy so correctly points out, it’s not like there are going to be any fewer homeless people/families if Burnside Park was abandoned.

    The standard to be applied here is the “time, place and manner” standard. It is difficult to see where the city has an overriding compelling interest in infringing on the group’s first amendment rights. That is, unless of course, you really hate trash. If I were Commissioner Pare, I’d think long and hard before clearing the park.

    And as for churches giving support to these folks, I say hooray! Whether it’s “the” Episcopal church or “an” Episcopal church to me is to miss the point. I remember that too many churches ducked and covered during the social and economic movements of my youth. It’s good to see some of them getting into the game. If this continues, I may have to even join one of them.

  5. I didn’t sat “my humanism is greater then yours”-merely that I’m not bereft of it because I happen to hod some conservative views and dislike social engineering-that’s all I’m saying-no one owns treating people correctly.
    BTW the reason I couldn’t lodge the kids in a juvenile facility was because one of the three smugglers was a juvenile gangbanger and the facility was run by those characters-the staff was next to useless.the three kids would’ve been beaten and terrorized all night long if they were lodged with the suspect.
    This was a nasty chase in the rain where I had to stop the suspect vehicle by getting in front of him and letting him hit my vehicle-the suspect driver was wanted for jumping bail on attempted murder of a police officer from a previous shootout with Chicago PD(this took place in Chi-town)so the safety of the witnesses was paramount.
    If you really want to know,the Anti Smuggling Unit was known for treating smuggled aliens pretty well.
    We once had to rescue a young kid kidnapped ny smugglers at gunpoint off the street because his family couldn’t pay them
    enough.
    Anyhow,my job involved a lot of ugly realities day in and day out-so sorry if I sound a little hard shelled sometimes.

    • Typos-typos.
      And I wasn’t ‘going after”them.I’ve met both ladies previously-we’re having a debate here,so we may disagree.
      My wife’s church never mentioned it.
      I recall that during the misguided “sanctuary”movement of the 80’s Bishop Hunt made it clear that any Episcopal priest harboring aliens illegally here would be subject to removal because this is a nation of laws and due process was available to anyone,it wasn’t Russia or Germany.I was told yhis directly by an Episcopal priest.
      Sen.Whitehouse asked for food donations for the Occupy group at our local public school the other night.71% of the students there are on free or reduced lunch-ya think maybe the families of those students might have been more deserving recipients?
      I guess I dislike posturing-if you want to do something,make it real,not some make myself feel good thing.

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