Who Do We Disband, And When?

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 16.884% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

My conservative friends have sniffed at Occupy Wall Street, saying that if they were acting like criminals, they’d hope someone would shut their occupation down just like #OWS is.  Which I guess would be true… if they were as equally upset about the illegal actions of cops covering up their badges to not be identified, shooting rubber bullets at protestors who were merely filming them, and beating people far outside the need of any realistic crowd control.
The lists of Occupy Wall Street troubles are comparatively minor, for a group this size staying as long as they have.  And I take the odd view that while we should expect perfection of any group, and certainly punish individuals who stray from that mentality, dissassembling the entire group because of a handful of bad apples is probably a bad idea.
(If you disagree, then certainly you’ll also agree that foreign countries have not only the right, but the moral privilege, to expel American military bases, which are well-known for bringing increased incidents of sexual assault to their area.)
Now, this is not an essay telling you that we should dismantle anyone.  I think the cops should stay employed.  I think the military bases should stay where we need them.  I think Occupy Wall Street should be allowed to stay where it is, so long as it remains overly peaceful….
…with the caveat that “peaceful” goes both ways.  If the cops harass Occupy Wall Street until Occupy Wall Street reacts, well, I’m not going to condone the activity, but I will understand it – in much the same way I once watched two cops beat up a friend of mine and didn’t blame them at all.  I’m seeing a fair amount of cop-dickishness coming from the protests, but I also do note that the protestors are the ones allowed to put up YouTube videos of their day.
The point I’m making is that the real reason my conservative friends believe that Occupy Wall Street should be shut down is because they see Occupy Wall Street as a threat who should probably be dispatched.  After all, the Tea Party are well-groomed individuals who’ve never harmed a fly, despite the fact that the Tea Party wasn’t required to spend a week standing in one place before they started to get serious national media attention.
I know my conservative buddies will be heartbroken to hear me say this, but if the Tea Party had needed to hang around for two months to make a point, there’d be some random assaults and violence happening.  You put that many humans in one place, someone’s bound to be a dick.  In much the same way that while I don’t condone police brutality in any way, I do understand that cops are human and going to snap, and if a liberal said, “Well, a cop was mean, so we should disband the NYPD,” I’d call him an idiot, too.
Because here’s the deal: I know full well that even if I compiled a database of Occupy-related crimes compared to Occupy-related police department illegal activities, and it turned out that the police were being more dickish, my conservative buddies wouldn’t say, “Well, we should get rid of those police.”  They’d talk about arresting the cops who committed the crimes, and changing the structure to make sure better structures were in place, but they’d never go, “Well, they just shouldn’t be there!”
It’s the way I feel about Occupy Wall Street.  Yeah, I’m sure a significant percentage of them are dicks who deserve to be hauled off.  I’m not convinced that the entire band needs to be broken up.  And I’m honest enough to say it’s because they’re a cause I believe in, and not hide behind some screed like, “Well, they’re not well behaved like my guys.”  (Because the truth is, my conservative associates are really operating off of the idea that one bad apple means Occupy are mostly bad apples who should be tossed out, but one bad cop-apple is just human error and in general the cops are great.)
My guys are kinda dickish.  Based on Sean’s entry, there were probably some things they could have done better to comply with fire codes.  But that doesn’t mean they should go away entirely.
(EDIT: And my favorite quote of the day comes via Twitter: “If only they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”)

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