But the insinuation of violence from the image of the guillotine led to physical violence, which culminated in the arrest of three protesters. According to authorities, a female executive from Goldman Sachs attempted to address a contingent of Occupy Wall Street supporters to better understand their complaints. When three unemployed, middle class homeowners informed her that they could no longer put bread on their tables, the executive replied, “Look around you, there are bakeries everywhere. If you can’t find bread, why don’t you eat cake?” The protesters attacked instantly. The woman’s injuries were not life threatening.
“There’s a historical precedent for what we’re doing, and it benefited the world,” said Guy L’Colere, one of the primary spokespersons for the movement. He was elected by a vote of consensus, which embodies the spirit of direct democracy championed by the organization’s growing base of adherents.
Critics, however, have compared the protests to acts of internal terrorism. F. Chester Greene, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate from San Narciso County, Calif., said last week, “Right now, an army of entitled college students armed with computers has overtaken Wall Street to protest the backbone of America’s strength. How is this different than flying a plane into a financial building?”
Greene admitted that he knew the “historical precedent” being cited by L’Colere, but called the comparison no different than apples to oranges, or “brioche to bread, if you want to be precise.”
Greene also said invoking an 18th century French uprising merely proved that Occupy Wall Street is a treasonous act of foreign influenced rebellion.
“American citizens have no place, and I mean no place, trying to fashion their silly revolution from a peasant revolt that happened 222 years ago in a different country,” Greene explained. “Plus, it’s France -- the same people who refused to support us in our war on terrorism. Apparently our young people have decided to take a page from the playbook of bystanders, of people who are happy to stand idly by while atrocities are committed. But at the end of the day, there’s just no comparison. Here are the facts about the struggles of France’s great unwashed. First, the people started getting uppity because of a nationwide financial crisis. A lot of that was brought about by unending wars abroad and too much control by a minority of elite at the highest echelons of power. The state was nearing bankruptcy, and outlays outpaced income. That’s not happening here, is it? That’s not our America. Second, the poor in France -- a bunch of lazy parasites draining the state’s coffers instead of getting jobs -- were complaining about starvation and malnutrition. Well, the majority of decent, hard working Americans are gainfully employed. We’ve got more restaurants and grocery stores than you can shake a stick at, and no one in this country is suffering from nutritional problems. We can’t just go storming the castles. If these degenerates cripple the mechanisms of Wall Street, they will effectively destroy America’s might and economic supremacy. Then we really would be living in France -- eating bugs and not bathing and not contributing to the world.”
Other conservatives like Greene worry that the uninformed “99 percent” marching on the banks could gather enough strength to enable radical reform, a change they call disastrous.
“Here’s what happened to France after they executed King Louis,” Greene continued. “Feudalism was abolished. Basically, after taking down the financial institutions and ruining job creating landowners, these peasants ensured their continuing unemployment. A convocation of unqualified women, all holding experience only as housekeepers or nannies, were suddenly allowed to infiltrate the ranks of government and business. Unskilled labor has no place running a country after the collapse of its infrastructure. That was followed by an era of liberal democracies, the spread of secularism, the development of modern ideologies, and what is today one of the most socialist countries with the highest tax burden. Communism, atheism, gay marriage, and total state control -- this is what Occupy Wall Street achieves. No thanks, I’ll choose America. This is not a country founded on rebellion. This is a land of law and order and free market ideals. Nothing good ever came from a revolution. Let’s not start now.”
Greene’s message to the protesters: “You wanna fix the country, stop loafing around the financial district. Go back to class. Go back to work. Do something useful. If you didn’t think you could repay your student loans, you shouldn’t have taken them out in the first place. Take some freaking accountability for your actions, people. There’s no free ride, and the government has no business bailing out irresponsible people. Can you imagine what kind of message that would send? I can, and it would be written in French.”
(c) 2011. See disclaimers.