I am enthusiastically in support of the Occupy Movement ("Concrete Activists," Feb. 16). Occupy Wall Street has fundamentally shifted the nature of public policy discourse. Finally, the focus is on the super rich who are killing the poor and devastating the middle class.
I have become increasingly disturbed by the tactics of Occupy Eureka. I am excruciatingly aware that many of the members of Occupy Eureka are homeless, addicted, victims of abuse, physically and/or developmentally disabled, mentally ill and understandably enraged. Society has failed them. However, the vast majority of the homeless in Humboldt County fall into these categories, and most are kind, civil people who do not harass others and do not vandalize small businesses.
More importantly, I believe that those with the most influence in Occupy Eureka are lying to raise hell with the legal system. I do not like being lied to. I am outraged about it. The Occupy Eureka movement has alleged that the Eureka Police Department deprived a homeless man of his survival equipment and that he subsequently died of exposure behind the mall. In checking with Acting Police Chief Harpham, I learned that the gentleman in question died of an overdose. He died on Jan. 23, 2012, and he claimed his backpack on Nov. 17, 2011. I suggest to Occupy Eureka that it might be better utilizing its time fighting for better emergency shelter options and permanent, safe, affordable housing for the homeless.
The left should hold the left accountable. This was done by more than 100 members of the 99 percent demonstrating against Occupy Eureka. Similar compassionate interventions have been done in Oakland and throughout the country. Occupy Humboldt Village led the way in cleaning up the Loring home -- and promoting expanding affordable housing at the same time. Another example -- the left should be vociferously demanding more community and law enforcement action against grow houses (which attract dangerous criminals, use abominable amounts of energy, and deplete the affordable housing market).
Occupy Eureka! I strongly suggest you reevaluate your tactics. You've lost the support of the middle, and you're losing the left.
Susan McGee, Eureka
We progressives should be calling Occupy Eureka to account, as well as challenging the know-nothings who refuse to immunize (ignoring how corrupt and wrong the research was linking it to autism). And you Republicans should be agitating to get Rush Limbaugh off the air. After all, what if it were your wife, daughter, or sister who was called a slut and a prostitute for advocating for contraception?
Limbaugh's apology is meaningless. It was prompted by one thing only -- the imminent loss of his livelihood as nine advertisers pulled their support.
The Republican response was disgustingly partisan. Only George Will had the cojones to challenge Limbaugh. Speaker Boehner said the comments were "inappropriate." Will said inappropriate was a word used when one utilized the wrong fork.
Limbaugh is known for his attacks on Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ folk, and for racism and sexism. This is not the first incident. This is the very same Limbaugh who in 1993 cruelly mocked then 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton on his television show by holding up her picture and asking his viewers whether they knew that there was "a White House dog." He once told a female African-American caller to "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."
Fluke herself stated the obvious -- these are the very words used to silence women. And it is no coincidence that these are the words domestic violence assailants use to control their partners.
And there is also little doubt that the right is seizing the chance to roll back women's rights. Setting the issue of choice in terminating pregnancies aside, bans on funding for mammograms and contraception are severely limiting women's health options, and are actively hurting women medically, particularly poor women and middle class women with no access to health care.
Karen L. March, M.D., Eureka
How ironic that Ryan Burns acknowledges that Occupy Eureka has been forcibly displaced to a narrow strip of concrete -- the sidewalk directly in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse. Vilifying leaders of change has been the norm all through history -- whether it be Martin Luther or Martin Luther King or Leonard Peltier. Assassinating the character or the flesh of those who place the welfare of others before their own is a sign that the leader under attack is a great one, who sacrifices everything for a purpose greater than one's self, holding steadfast to their beliefs. Such leaders are driven by pure motives of the heart and cannot be bought, bribed or controlled.
What kind of an impact the Peace Movement's Love-ins would have occurred in the '60's if Peoples' Park had erected an Iron Curtain and restricted those assembled to a strip of sidewalk?
Have we forgotten that this same strip of concrete, the sidewalk, houses mentally ill patients, homeless citizens and all displaced peoples, like those of us who are tribal members?
Cher' and Edward Keisner, Piercy