5 things Occupy Tulsa could do to be taken more seriously
2:00 AM EST on November 15, 2011
Before you come at me with your torches and pitchforks, let's chat about a few facts we can all agree on:
• There probably is some bank and corporate corruption that occurs, which kind of sucks.
• This certainly isn't a shining moment in America's job market.
• It's fairly aggravating to see the budget deficit get larger and larger every month.
• Although we all would prefer to keep our entire paychecks, that's not how most successful societies function, so fair taxing is more or less a necessity.
The supposed root cause of Occupy Wall Street is something that most people can get on board with. However, the movement got its questionable reputation due to their manner of protest and the fact that most of the
spokespersons people the media finds to interview for the cause seem to be radical and somewhat misinformed. From the Tulsa World:
After a lull in arrests last week for Occupy Tulsa protesters, six protesters were arrested and four were issued citations Sunday night.
About 35 police officers were on site at H.A. Chapman Centennial Green in downtown Tulsa as arrests were made and areas of the park and Main Street were cordoned off with crime tape just after 11 p.m.
Tulsa’s police helicopter was also deployed in anticipation of the night’s events, said Tulsa Police Capt. Shawn King.
Small teams of officers took the protesters into custody and escorted them to a waiting van for transport to Tulsa Jail. Two men were carried by their arms and feet, and the others were escorted peacefully as the crowd shouted, “We love you,” and “This is what a patriot looks like.”
The group made a public announcement Saturday that they would return to acts of nonviolent civil disobedience after the Tulsa City Council denied their application for a special event permit.
Police vacated the park within 30 minutes of their arrival.
Protesters vowed to return Monday evening, reminding officers: “We’ll be back tomorrow. Same Occupy time, same Occupy place.”
In the meth capital of America, police are busy arresting protesters, who (at least from what I can see from my car window when I drive home everyday), are kind of just hanging out and playing hacky sack on one of downtown Tulsa's grassy knolls. Forces don't hassle the homeless people who are doing the exact same thing a block away, but
cardboard signs a park curfew national media attention has deemed their deed devious enough to warrant arrests.
Now, personally I follow the take-charge-over-what-you-have-control-over-and-damn-the-rest school of thought, which many would argue is the key piece of logic missing from protestors' reasoning. Not to worry though: I spent this entire weekend thinking of ways Occupy Tulsa can get a little more street cred--and believe me, due to OU's bye week, this was the most sober weekend I've had in a while. Here are few things I came up with:
1. Convince a large conglomerate to station their headquarters in Tulsa. It's probably tough to energize a movement against corporate greed when you live in a city that's not exactly teeming with mega-companies. Sure, we have our Williams and ONEOK to OKC's Chesapeake and Devon, but besides that, the only other huge company out here that comes to mind is Quiktrip. And protesting against a company that employs nearly 10,000 blue-collar workers seems a little douchey.
2. Protest after 5:00 whilst donning business suits. This is the perfect way to make all those "GET A JOB HIPPIE!" cat-calls a moot point. If protestors appear as though they have daytime responsibilities but still choose to fight the good fight against the Man, they might convince a few apathetic civilians to join their cause.
3. Grow a pair and withstand the weather. There's no faster way to look absolutely ridiculous than letting the climate get in the way of showing your dedication--and from what I've seen, Occupy Tulsa participants are quite fair-weather. Oklahomans should have learned their lesson after the OU/Texas Tech tragedy last month. No one is going to take any group seriously that withdraws at the first sign of torrential rain, frost, or violent wind gusts.
4. Recruit a reputable spokesperson. Unlike Occupy OKC, Tulsa should up its game and make the face of the cause someone who is well-known, respected, and um, not under criminal investigation. Someone like Blake Ewing. Or Isaac Hanson. Or the guy from Nosak Raw that used to be married to my cousin. Or Paul Tay.
5. Pile up in a VW Van and go where people care. In all honestly, it's going to be hard to get a substantial number of people in Tulsa lathered up about anything with a vaguely liberal genus. In our sleepy town, people look forward to things like Christmas parades, high school football games, and the newest Applebee's. Your average soccer mom and working dad doesn't have the time for this kind of tomfoolery, and if there are any other twentysomethings out here who don't wear bedazzled denim or make mix tapes in their spare time, please come find me.
But seriously. I'm single, not a cheap date (sorry), but my never-ending charm and wit will make the large bar tab worth shelling out for. Follow me on Twitter @xcawoodstock.
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