Monday, October 31, 2011

occupy richmond converts rightwing blogger...,

Video - Rightwing blogger's Richmond Occupy Wall Street conversion experience.

VARight | Going perhaps a bit undercover I wandered down to Kanawha Plaza in downtown Richmond this afternoon to get a few pictures and gauge the people of whom I have been so critical first hand, up close and personal.

It was a cold and rainy afternoon with a snow storm moving in to our west and north. Pellets of sleet intermittently mixed with the light drizzle and the temperature hovered in the low 40′s. Cold and nasty.

I expected exactly what I had heard and seen on the news. Trash, filth, drugs, human excrement and terrible odors. And obnoxious people demanding handouts.

In fact, that is what I went down there to document.

But a strange thing happened on the way to expose these greedy freeloaders for the vermin we believe them to be.

When I drove by yesterday, the tents and signs and scraggly people confirmed my impression of the place. From the outside looking in, everything appeared to be exactly as I had seen in the media and read on the internet.

But that was on the outside looking in.

I parked the car, put 50 cents in the meter, and headed into the modern day version of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And I was stunned at what I saw.

There were tents, hand painted signs, almost child-like art work in poster paint reminiscent of the 60′s. Love. Peace.

I was politely greeted by several as I snapped pictures and looked around. I came upon a medical tent and was greeted by a young African-American man named Chris. I asked him a few questions and then asked his permission to record him as he gave me the grand tour. I really hadn’t expected to find a clean camp, let alone a medical tent – one of two!

There are supply rents with clothes, food and gloves. The port-a-pottys were at the far end of the park, away from the food area and they had hot food available all the time. 24 hours.

Chris told me about their “PA” system as a few people walked by shouting “Mic Check!” Chris explained that they use this system to make announcements around the camp. One makes the announcement and the others repeat the message around the encampment. An efficient system to say the least.

He also explained the Democratic Government they had established. To pass “legislation” requires 90% approval.

I spoke with a young woman who was in the Legal Tent. I didn’t ask her name or “qualifications” but she did tell me that the group applied for a permit 9 days ago and had heard nothing.

By biggest problem with this movement has been their disregard for the law. But it seems that they are at least making an effort to comply with the law and the City of Richmond is actually dragging their feet. I have no reason to believe this woman was not being truthful, which means that the City and local media has been less than candid about the Occupy Richmond group’s efforts to do things the right way.

Shame on Mayor Jones. While I criticized Jones earlier today in a post for not evicting the scofflaws who refuse to abide by the law and obtain the proper permits, it seems that the criticism of Jones was deserved, but not because he failed to remove this group who is unlawfully assembled, but because his administration has failed to either approve or disapprove the permit.

My camp guide Chris, speaking for himself (and not the group) said he believed that the Richmond TEA Party should be refunded their money. The Public Park is free.