I’ll start by saying I agree with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, at least in principal. Anyone willing to take the time and effort to stand nonviolent against systems that oppress on behalf of the marginalized has some merit.
That said, I, like many others, am a little baffled by the intent of the movement. Is the goal to influence public policy? To move public opinion? To propose a radical alternative form of government or commerce? I’m not so sure. Fellow Patheos contributor Brian McLaren is vocal in his support. Though I respect Brian and his focus on social justice informed by his faith, I’m still not entirely sure what I’m supporting by standing behind the so-called “99 Percent.”
But that’s not the point of my post today. I heard NPR’s New York Bureau Correspondent Margot Adler talking about an interesting problem the New York movement – and some of the other groups, too – is facing. Apparently, the protesters have access to pretty good food for the most part. Ms. Adler spoke of being served homemade cornbread and fresh guacamole when she visited the Wall Street camp. But I guess some of the local homeless people have gotten wind of the good eats available at the rallies and have decided to crash the party.
Some of the protesters complained that the non-voluntary street dwellers were gobbling up resources, and generally showing a lack of regard for the cause. Of course, I’m guessing if anyone understands being a part of the disenfranchised citizenry, it’s the homeless.
Anyway, the solution some protesters have come up with is to slash rations and make the food as undesirable as possible, at least temporarily, until the intruders move on.
I don’t want to beat an obvious horse to death, so I think I’ll leave it at that, and let others chime in if, in fact, I’m missing something.
Christian Piatt is an author, editor, speaker, musician and spoken word artist. He co-founded Milagro Christian Church in Pueblo, Colorado with his wife, Rev. Amy Piatt, in 2004. Christian is the creator and editor of “Banned Questions About The Bible” and “Banned Questions About Jesus.” He has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called “PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.” For more information about Christian, visit www.christianpiatt.com, or find him on Twitter or Facebook.