Occupy Wall Street: A Kent State Moment?

OK. We can almost guarantee that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in Lower Manhattan and other locations won’t end well. At some point the police and politicians will tire of the protestors and then they will be arrested or otherwise forcibly escorted from the various venues they now occupy.

Does that warrant a Kent State moment? Donny Deutsch, the snappy dressing pundit on MSNBC, raised that possibility Friday on the early a.m. gabfest Morning Joe.

Just in case Deutsch has forgotten, the Kent State “moment” was when the Ohio militia fired into a group of unarmed students, killing four and wounding others.

Is that what this intellectual douche bag really had in mind? I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say no. His claim to fame is that he is described as an advertising exec. So I expect he was trying to make a point about imagery, or branding, or some other such nonsense. In any event: good grief.

But if Deutsch is suggesting a repeat of May 4, 1970, he should consider that we’ve had several examples of a Kent State moment recently — in Egypt, Syria, Iran, Libya, Yemen and on and on. Does any thinking person really want to see that played out on the streets in New York or elsewhere?

I’ve opined previously that I don’t believe the Occupy Wall Street protests will accomplish much, if anything. But the protestors — unless they are engaged in violence or some other illegal activity — have the right to assembly and say pretty much what they want. That’s my take on the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And gee, call me old-fashioned. But I believe this applies to liberals, conservatives, pajama-clad citizen journalists and yes, even advertising execs.

If we lose sight of that, then this country has bigger problems than what the people in NYC and elsewhere are demonstrating about.

Just sayin’.

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One response to “Occupy Wall Street: A Kent State Moment?

  1. What bothers me just now about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations is that ideologues on the left are attempting to hijack the movement. Or, right-wingers are doing it, to frighten people. Either way, the latest seed being planted is that the movement reflects an assault on capitalism. This is completely false. The movement is an assault on “pure” capitalism, robber-baron capitalism run amok, capitalism without oversight or common sense. This is an important distinction. Purity in a system is always bad news. It reflects rigidity, the triumph of an over-arching idea over reality.

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