Occupy protesters continue to show their ugly side in harassing journalists and photographers who are trying to document their movement.
The latest incident took place Tuesday in an Occupy Portland encampment where a man wearing a pink bandana over his face continually berated a KGW news crew.
The incident was nothing new, according to KGW News.
News Director Rick Jacobs said KGW employees have been cursed at, pushed and shoved several times during their efforts to cover the Occupy Portland movement. Last week, reporter Art Edwards was seen live on the air being physically pushed and shoved by a masked protester.
After last week’s incident KGW began sending a third crew member on each live shot assignment out of concern for employee safety. After Tuesday’s incident, Jacobs announced that live reports would be discontinued during the morning and late-night newscasts until employee safety could be assured.
The bandanna-wearing protester tells the news crew that they are trying to bring back a democracy that doesn’t include the news crew.
In other words, some type of dictatorship.
The man, who briefly removes the bandana from his face, accuses the news crew of launching wars, then proclaims he is non-violent, before getting in their faces and complaining about how he is sick of watching them on TV, apparently not knowing how to change the channel or turn the TV off.
Then he goes on about how they are not the “real Americans,” which is no different than the rhetoric out of the mouths of many tea party members.
He continues to get in their faces in an extremely aggressive manner while continuing to proclaim non-violence.
If anything, it was the news crew practicing the art of pacifism in an effort to not escalate the situation with the man who appeared deranged.
The man gets increasingly angrier, telling them to “get the fuck out of our space.”
He eventually gets whisked away by other protesters who warn him that the news crew will take his tirade and turn it into something it isn’t.
Then another protester flips the videographer off before berating him for not showing him respect. Portland police eventually order the first man away.
The assholes we are seeing in these videos are not representative of the entire movement, but they are doing plenty to discredit it.
Eventually, those protesters who are serious about the movement need to take a stand against these assholes.
From rapists at Occupy Wall Street to junkies at Occupy Vancouver, not to mention the countless assholes who have threatened photographers and journalists, these stories and videos are not doing anything to maintain the support of Americans, which polls show overwhelmingly support the Occupy movement.
I wish I could say that the problems that the Occupy movement is having with infiltrators and agitators are new. But they’re not. In fact, they’re problems that the Old Hippies who survived the 60s and 70s remember acutely, and with considerable pain.
As a veteran of those days — with the scars to prove it — watching the OWS organizers struggle with drummers, druggies, sexual harassers, racists, and anarchists brings me back to a few lessons we had to learn the hard way back in the day, always after putting up with way too much over-the-top behavior from people we didn’t think we were allowed to say “no” to. It’s heartening to watch the Occupiers begin to work out solutions to what I can only indelicately call “the asshole problem.” In the hope of speeding that learning process along, here are a few glimmers from my own personal flashbacks — things that it’s high time somebody said right out loud.