Letters to the Editor

Posted: November 23, 2011

The Occupy message gets through

I was gratified to see Tony Auth's Sunday cartoon illustrating the impact of the Occupy movement in successfully shifting our national discussion from "cuts and spending" to the fundamental questions of economic democracy. This is correct. In fact, what Occupy has done is jump-start a conversation that leads directly to the question of who and what controls the flow of trillions of dollars of capital generated from the labor and taxes of the 99 percent. Picture trillions of our dollars invested according to our economic interests as opposed to the interests of the 1 percent. This is the picture of what economic democracy looks like. This is the vision of Occupy.

David Kutzik, Philadelphia, dkutzik@aol.com

Reminder about the American way

Saturday's editorial cartoon is misleading and unhelpful. Sure, there are slackers at Occupy Philadelphia - but look more closely and you'll see that the heart of the Occupy movement is composed of responsible people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. They have jobs and are paying rent. They are reminding all of us that the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is not the American way. They believe our country can be better than this. I do, too.

Patricia McBee, Philadelphia

Why write to Congress?

Several recent letter writers upbraided occupiers for their tactics and instructed them to instead write their congressman about their concerns. How many in reader-land have done just that only to receive boilerplate nonresponses from their elected officials?

John J. Kirkwood, Haddonfield, jjkirwood@hotmail.com

Explanation of voter apathy

In reply to readers who can't understand why the members of the Occupy movement don't rely on voting to bring about change, I can only say that even though I always vote, I doubt it will matter.

I visited Occupy Philly in Dilworth Plaza. There I found an orderly encampment, and I spoke with a homeless man who was supporting himself by selling a newspaper that is written and published by the homeless. Later, I attended an afternoon discussion at the Friends Center, where mostly young Occupy members considered their options given the imminent move from Dilworth Plaza. What I sensed was determination on the part of Occupy Philly to remain in the public eye long enough to enter our social consciousness.

During the 2010 elections, tea-party candidates won because their movement was supported by wealthy backers. The wealthy 1 percent can elect candidates who will help their supporters remain so wealthy. Money speaks louder than votes - and that's so clear to most Americans that it shouldn't surprise us that there's so much apathy in terms of voter turnout.

John Wenderoth, Media

A nobler use of city plaza

Mayor Nutter's decision to brush away Occupy Philadelphia on the pretext of sanitation and park maintenance is a farce. Are we to agree that silencing the weak is justifiable if the cause is mending chipped paint? The goal of all this revitalization is, ironically, to increase use of the city's parks and plazas. I believe they are already being used, and for a nobler purpose than catching up on work during your lunch break. A touch of trees and grass, and a few more signs and lamp posts, are not worth more than the breathing men and women who endure hardship and discomfort in the face of a hostile government and business establishment if only to be seen and not ignored. Does the mayor truly value parks above citizens? If so, Democrats' trust in him is misplaced, for he leans so far right as to be in danger of tipping over.

Charles M. Rupert, Philadelphia, Lovedr78@hotmail.com

Celebrate this revolution

Why do tourism and social-economic protest have to be competing interests? I just took some visitors from San Diego to dinner in Center City, and ironically, their must-see places were Rittenhouse Square and our Occupy encampment. Perhaps having a good-sized Occupy encampment is really a sign of the city's growing place in the national mind-set. In fact, having an Occupy camp is actually a sign of community progressiveness - in short, it is cool, and cool sells. As many of our city's most visited tourism attractions are a celebration of a prior political revolution, why not celebrate a contemporary one?

Bob Stokes, Havertown

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