|It's frightening...and cute at the same time.|
People are tired of smelly hippies stinking up the place? Really? But why?
Without running water or working toilets, the crowded anti-Wall Street encampments across the country are not the most pleasant-smelling places to live. Nor are they quiet, with drumming and chanting echoing through the air at all hours of the night.
That's why police and neighbours in some cities are starting to lose patience with the protesters, who are preparing to settle in for the winter months.
In Oakland, California, police in riot gear fired tear gas and bean bags before daybreak Tuesday to disperse about 170 protesters who had been camping in front of City Hall for the past two weeks, and 75 people were arrested.
The mayor of Providence, Rhodes Island, is threatening to go to court within days to evict demonstrators from a park.
And businesses and residents near New York's Zuccotti Park, the unofficial headquarters of the movement that began in mid-September, are demanding something be done to discourage the hundreds of protesters from urinating in the street and making noise at all hours.
"A lot of tourists coming down from hotels are so disgusted and disappointed when they see this," said Stacey Tzortzatos, manager of a sandwich shop near Zuccotti Park. "I hope for the sake of the city the mayor does close this down."
She complained that the protesters who come in by the dozen to use her bathroom dislodged a sink and caused a flood, and that police barricades are preventing her normal lunch crowd from stopping by.
In Philadelphia, city officials have been waiting almost two weeks for Occupy Philly to respond to a letter containing a list of health and safety concerns. City Managing Director Richard Negrin said officials can't wait much longer to address hazards such as smoking in tightly packed tents, camp layouts that hinder emergency access, and exposure to human waste.
"They just can't ignore us indefinitely," Negrin said Tuesday. "Every day that they haven't addressed these public safety concerns simply increases the risk."
Stephen Campbell, a protester in Boston, said the troublemakers are the minority.
"We have a policy here: no drugs, no alcohol," he said. "Us occupiers really try to stick true to that. Other people who move in, who maybe have an alcohol problem or a drug problem, you know, we're not fully equipped to handle things like that."
(Sidebar: yes, you also have a rape policy, too.)
City officials in Oakland had initially been supportive of the protesters, with Mayor Jean Quan saying that sometimes "democracy is messy." But tensions reached a boiling point after a sexual assault, a severe beating and a fire were reported and paramedics were denied access to the camp, according to city officials. They also cited complaints about threatening behaviour and concerns about rats, fire hazards and public urination.
When police moved in, they were pelted with rocks, bottles and utensils from people in the camp's kitchen area, but no injuries were reported. Protesters were taken away in plastic handcuffs, most of them arrested on suspicion of illegal lodging.
Here's a clue: don't entertain this crap for one minute to begin with. Someone with a trust fund is not the same as an immigrant working to feed his family.
One group of Nazis failed in trying to shut it down and another succeeds:
St. Paul's Cathedral has welcomed visitors for 300 years, but for almost a week its heavy oak doors have been shut, locked because of an anti-capitalist protest camp outside the landmark building.
Church officials say the campsite is a health hazard, and on Wednesday London's Anglican bishop asked the demonstrators to leave. But hours later, the church appeared to acknowledge that the protesters are settling in for a long stay.
The protesters accuse the church of choosing the wrong side in the standoff between capitalism and idealism that has spawned sit-ins from New York to Sydney.
"We want this church to open," said a 50-year-old protest spokesman who gave his name as Akira. "We were shocked that they closed it."
The Dean of St. Paul's, Rev. Graeme Knowles, said Wednesday evening he was optimistic that the cathedral would reopen Friday following changes to the layout of tents used by the protesters.
The cathedral is considering all its options in response to the protest — including legal action — Knowles said, adding that a final decision would be made Thursday on whether St. Paul's could open in time for a midday service Friday.
Business owners, residents and officials in cities where encampments have sprouted up are increasingly complaining about sanitation problems, disruptions to business, and crime.
In Glasgow, Scottish police said Wednesday they were investigating reports a woman was raped in a tent in the city's George's Square, where protesters have set up camp.
Why wouldn't people want a bunch of sad sacks raping women, disrupting business and pooping everywhere? Why?
Yemeni women burn head coverings in protest:
Hundreds of Yemeni women on Wednesday set fire to traditional female veils to protest the government's brutal crackdown against the country's popular uprising, as overnight clashes in the capital and another city killed 25 people, officials said.
In the capital Sanaa, the women spread a black cloth across a main street and threw their full-body veils, known as makrama, onto a pile, sprayed it with oil and set it ablaze. As the flames rose, they chanted: "Who protects Yemeni women from the crimes of the thugs?"
Where are the apologists for Islamic oppression of women, particularly in regard to these absurd head and body coverings? Defend these horrid pieces of cloth where it counts, you cowards (RE: Sid Ryan)!
For the record, these rotters weren't banished from Tim Horton's but were asked to leave because of their incredibly inappropriate behaviour. Stop pretending that homosexuals are an endangered species in need of constant protection and validation.
The couple was sitting outside the restaurant along with some family members in September.
Duckworth said she and Pattenden were holding each other and exchanging short kisses but not doing anything "too out there."
She said she noticed a man staring at them and a few minutes later the assistant manager came out and told them they were making another patron uncomfortable.
"She said we either had to go somewhere where people couldn't see us or leave within five minutes or they would call the police," Duckworth told The Star.
She said they decided to leave rather than cause a scene.
Eric Revie, an assistant pastor at the Glad Tidings Community Church in Blenheim, was the one who expressed discomfort to the assistant manager at the Tim Hortons that day.
In a statement emailed to The Star, Revie said he did not ask the manager to tell the couple to leave, but rather did not want his two sons, aged nine and three, to witness what he called a "visibly lewd" public display of affection.
Revie added that his request had nothing to do with the fact that the couple was gay.
"At the time I thought it was a guy-girl couple. I was unaware it was two girls," Revie said.
Revie said the Facebook page was circulating "lies" and that he does not "preach hatred" nor does he "hate those with alternative lifestyles."
Muslims are total Protestants about Catholic symbols:
The official allegations claim that CUA, “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion,” according to a press release on PRLOG.com.
They might lead to dancing.
Perhaps they would like to go to more WASP-ish or Muslim-friendly institutions with equally "incongruous" theologies and no symbols (save the "gay-positive" dance posters)?
And now, a Halloween light show.