Yesterday was Occupy Houston’s first big march. Of course, I wonder why they chose Thursday morning, when potential supporters were at work. But whatever. So while I missed the march from Market Square to Chase Bank, I was able to meet up with the protest at City Hall. Admittedly, protesting City Hall doesn’t seem to make much sense. Local government isn’t really the problem here. However, City Hall does have a big grassy field in front of it, which does have a history of letting people sleep there. So it makes sense from that perspective.
So anyways, Dean and I took in the sights and signs. Dishearteningly, the first thing I saw was a group of protesters holding Ron Paul 2012 and End the Fed signs.
As Dean and I walked around, the crazy continued to stand out from the crowd. For example, there was the woman with the anti-contrails t-shirt. Because airplanes are spraying chemicals, rather than condensation.
This walking (sitting) cliche was one among many. Of course, the best was the Ayn Rand guy. Imagine to yourself, but for a brief moment, what your average Ayn Rand believer looks like. (Alan Greenspan doesn’t count.) Because he was there!
It does seem someone contradictory for this true Ubermench to be espousing utter and complete selfishness and self-interest among a crowd condemning corporate greed, but maybe that’s the point? Maybe he was trying to convert people? Alas, I didn’t ask. #worldsworstjournalist
Indeed, the Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, anti-federal government pro-annoying theme wouldn’t be complete without a bunch of Alan Moore fans.
And if I knew wearing my League of Extraordinary Gentlemen shirt would make a difference, I would have bought one.
Amongst the crazy crowds, however, were the signs. Which were all lying in front of City Hall. I assume that after the march through downtown, people put all their signs in front of City Hall because they’re too tired to carry them or for aesthetic purposes or something.
However, it was these signs that had the most cohesive message. Most related to government putting interests of the top 1% ahead of he other 99%. Some were about student debt. Others were about unemployment. A few were about tax rates and sources of the national debt. But the overall sense was one of, well, sanity at least.
This was my favorite:
I tried to provide my own little contribution by fixing the sign.
Anyways, the point was clearer at this expression of Occupy Houston. People are mad that the wealthy have undue influence in government and policy. People think that hard work and education should mean a well paying job. This shouldn’t be controversial. This should just be.
I’m just not sure why we’re protesting it in front of City Hall.
But when I think about it, City Hall is a good place to have a protest about government and societal priorities. Just look at it.
Houston City Hall is constructed of impressive stone work and beautiful carvings that usher back to great moments of history, commanding respect and communicating dignity. We should be willing to spend money on government structures and programs that work. And City Hall works great at serving as a seat of power, at least symbolically. I’ve yet to work inside. Unfortunately, it is covered in dirt and schmutz. Too bad we can’t pay people to keep it clean.
Anyways, some people actually slept in front of City Hall overnight. We’ll see how long this lasts, and how long I have to walk down to City Hall to take my lunch.
But I would prefer that we make the necessary policy changes sooner rather than later.
Also, forgive student debt and consumer debt in a one time Jubilee Year? (Funny note: That was my Torah portion at my bar mitzvah.)