The price of protest

Madeline and Bob Rawley, of Bucks County, attend the Occupy Doylestown protest last week to vent their displeasure at political and environmental issues facing America.

Fascinating range of reaction to Sunday's dispatch from the Occupy protests in Philadelphia and Doylestown. One reader sent a photo of a protester drinking a cup of McDonald's coffee while smoking a major-label cigarette as if to suggest hypocrisy. Others zeroed in on the cost  - $400,000 in just the first week - of the protest at City Hall.

These people are not going do anything to ruffle the feathers of big business, corporate entities or Wall Street, claimed one caller. All they're doing is putting a drain on the taxpayers of Philadelphia and other cities. Do they realize this? Are they kicking in?

I'm posting a photo here of two seventysomething Doylestown protesters to dispel any thought that well-dressed Grandmas and retired corporate managers are sitting this one out. And below, behold a few of the most intriguing reader responses:

Finally! Someone from the Inquirer willing to write about Occupy Philly in a serious way. I’ve been to three marches so far (I’m a 57-year-old suburban wife and mom) and I wish the Inquirer would give it more coverage because it’s a worthwhile cause. It’s a shame that people ignore and disparage the Occupiers yet they will complain about lack of jobs, “those lousy politicians”, etc. etc. If the movement got more serious coverage I think more people would get involved. But, no, the Inquirer finds the prostitutes at the Mummers hangout much more worthy of headlines.

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I enjoyed reading your column today about the “Occupiers”. While it’s good to hear that the Philadelphia contingent is relatively law abiding, I can only wonder how the New York and other groups expect to accomplish good things. Other than destroy Wall Street and all banks, and take money from the rich, what, really, is their message?

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I am in my heart an activist who is happy people are protesting and gathering, but every time I walk by and see so many police, wrote a conflicted civil servant. I wince thinking of the human cost ... I know it is cool to be supportive, but there are consequences.

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Finally, one of my most loyal readers phoned in a point echoed by many using even more colorful language:

Why don't these brain-dead cuckoos go home or better yet, get a job? I worked since I was a teenager. I scoff at these bedbugs who won't work for $7 or $8 an hour. They think it's beneath them.


-- Monica Yant Kinney


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