OccupySD Facebook not the real Occupy San Diego

by on October 12, 2011 · 35 comments

in Media, San Diego

So everyone’s been weighing in on the Occupy protests lately. I’ve done a few lightweight “just the facts, ma’am,” pieces on my other site, but I feel like what I’ve really got is commentary, reaction, and editorializing. In one of my day jobs I’m a reporter of straight news, in the other I’m a real estate and mortgage broker, which probably qualifies me as a 1%er (and not in the HA kinda way) and worthy of lynching. But I’m bringing the unqualified opinions that follow home to the OB Rag, the place where I cut my pseudo-journalistic chops.

The point of my rant today is the official Facebook page of the Occupy SD movement. This is a topic on which I must say I’m not very well qualified to pontificate upon, as I’ve been thoroughly opposed to Facebook and voluntary exposure to said beast since its inception. Hell, I didn’t even join the MySpace revolution until it was in its death throes and even then I have some misgivings about being involved in the whole “social networking” thing at all.

My wife, however, is a big fan of it. So much so that, even though I bought her a netbook and have offered to share access to my computer since hers took a shit some time ago, she relies on the Facebook app on her smartphone for most of the daily news she consumes. It seems a significant percentage of the world today feels the same way she does.

Anyway, today we got to discussing Occupy SD and our differing views of the coverage it’s received in the media. We were active participants last Friday and Saturday, but have since been absent physically due to a cascade of personal tragedies and subsequent obligations. She’s been on Facebook, I’ve been everywhere but – following the reports from my co-worker Chad Deal at the Reader, the coverage of other local reputable news outfits like CityBeat and KPBS, and even the likes of the U/T and KUUUUUUSI. And of course a big nod goes to the very site you’re reading this on now.

After seeing what Christina’s been seeing, I’ve only got one thing to say to the Facebookers – cut that shit the fuck out! The big focus of the people on the Facebooks (I’m hoping it’s okay to improperly pluralize this in a pseudo-Bushism, as in ‘the Googles,’) is on police brutality and on fostering a lack of cooperation. There’s a plethora of posts on how to evade arrest, block inspections, and smuggle extra camping gear into the site.

To me, this is not Occupy. If the authorities are going to stop you from doing what you’re going to do, and you feel you’re within your rights to do it, fucking do it! Don’t hide your actions, but be up front and clear about your intentions and ready to back up what they are with logic. If you feel it’s plausible to expand the camp, do it and be ready to explain why it’s within your rights to do so. If the cops have a point in blocking you from expanding at your current location, expand the occupation elsewhere. I think the OG NYC group realizes they’re outgrowing their britches, it’s perfectly okay for SD to feel the same and start another camp nearby (that’s Original Gangsta for those not in the know).

Beyond this, I argue that the San Diego cops are not the Boston cops, nor are they the NYPD. Maybe other factions of the Occupy movement are waging war with law enforcement. Good for them – not only do they have the right to, but they’re in the right in doing so! But that’s just simply not the case here…so far. All the police I’ve talked to have been totally cool, some have even expressed candid support. Remember, they’re part of the 99% just like we are, and they’re fighting local government over staffing cuts, pension reductions, and a lot of the same things we’re fighting for too. I’m the first to rise against laws I don’t like and corrupt pigs that practice selective enforcement, but I think it’s beyond obvious that those types thankfully represent a minority of the SDPD forces. As far as bringing the low-level members of government (like the police force) over to our side, you’ll catch a shitload more flies with honey…

From what I’ve read, and I haven’t had a chance yet to attend one in its entirety, the General Assembly is growing beyond manageability. Start a second! Hell, start a third if it’s necessary to get the quantity of voices down to a reasonable number to allow everyone to be heard. Then have a post-GA meeting with representatives of all groups to share what each has accomplished and to compare and contrast opinions.

I’m speaking personally here, but I think every damned adult who wants to be a productive member of society has not only a right but an obligation to air their opinion and have it heard. It’s impossible for all of the couple hundred million of us to do that at once, which is why we formed the representative form of government we have in the first place. GAs are, in my not-so-humble opinion, the best way to achieve that goal that the founding fathers set forth for our society.

I have a ton more to say, as does the movement. But for now I’m going to give it a rest and see if there’s anyone out there listening…

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Allthink October 12, 2011 at 9:45 am

Dave – I attended last nights GA meeting and was told it was becoming more manageable than previous nights. I learned a lot. It is a process in infancy but fed by pure euphoric dreams.

I already posted this jot in a previous blog, but it applies here as well. We’re listening, and critically.

Noted last night occupying SD: 1:00am

As I lay on the earth tonight, I feel that America is angry. We are cold and the weather was sunny and warm, we are tired and the numbness has wore. Our leaders have long lost their breathe and the water level breached their containment. Tonight, I sleep under the light of the moon, the pollutions of expelled corridor lights, and the false beacons of glowing Bank of America and Sempra Energy’s need of constant representation. My schedule and energy spa in delight as I tried to rest, only to give in to the need to express.

For me, the massive palate of causes unifying under one foal is a welcome clear day. Peace is everyone’s fresh air, clean water, and safe surroundings; our medicine. Peace in not an option, it is our only solution for everyone’s good morning. This is not supposed to be easy, and our dreams will lead the way, so please observe them carefully.

As our enlivened human race creates a society where “all we need is love” takes hold, the incumbent powers will try and squelch our healing. This is where I will always side with the indefinite, I will always side with being surprised, I will always lay my head knowing I gave everything I could; because until everyone can reside in our shared space peacefully, fully surrounded and built from love, what is the point?

I am. We are. It was a sixth degree of mine that initiated and began our demise. Before oblivion sets in, the opportunity to avoid catastrophe is here. Welcome. This movement has been dreamed and sent into reality in time to deter or retract utter destruction. I will fall asleep tonight rejuvenated. Rejuvenated to enter critical mind space I’ve envisioned and positioned, but have not fully devoted my whole yet. The time has come, the change is here.

“Spiraling into the center, the center of nowhere. We are the weavers, we are the woven ones, we are the dreamers, we are the dream”



doug porter October 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

Well, you had to get me started on OccupySD Facebook… I handle the OBRag Facebook page, and. because we are supportive, we overlap (as in belong to the group) with OccupySD (OSD) Facebook. I’m almost afraid to look at the OSD page lately. It’s become the refuge for enough fringe characters to start a circus freak show.
Here’s my top ten list of least favorite types lurking at OSD’s Facebook page this week:

10. The “concern” trolls. Think of the Deputy Sheriff character from a Yogi Bear cartoon. A whiny voice and an empty head join together to stress over mundane matters that could be resolved by actually VISITING the campsite.
9. The right wing martyrs. The ones who post anti-OWS video or materials and sit back waiting the claim that they are being persecuted when people bitch about it.
8. The right wing meanies. Always in a hurry to jump in with comments that are distracting, sow doubt or debase other posters that support Occupy.
7. The conspiracy freaks. They think that their paranoia should be the only focus of the group. Especially discouraging are the 9/11 freaks that draw their “facts” from white supremacist web sites and don’t seem to understand why people react so vehemently against them.
6. The Paultards. Who think nothing about dropping a Ron Paul money “bomb” link anywhere they please. It’s okay that you love Ron Paul, you just don’t have to be rude about it.
5. The Nutcases. Sending us messages from outer space. See posts by the Galactic Federation… if you need to waste time.
4. The Hatfields and the McCoys. Which is what I’ve taken to calling the feuding factions of the pro-medical marijuana peeps. They’d like us to know that the other side are actually cops. May be the best example of what pot can do to people who are already paranoid.
3. The Democrats. No, I’m not signing your petition until the President grows a pair.
2. Any post that mentions George Soros or Zionism. See #7.
1. The Cops are coming! It’s hard to believe that there are so many people who either consciously or subconsciously want the cops to crack heads. A cop car that drives by with lights flashing generates a wave of paranoia on Facebook and Twitter. Come on folks! At least try to get some facts before nailing yourself to the cross! (And I thought that only Rethuglians were good at displays of persecution complex)


Frank Gormlie October 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm

This is quite good and very funny. Keep it up, Doug!


annagrace October 12, 2011 at 11:13 am

It is apparent to me that OWS & Occupy SD are made up of individuals with differing opinions about their relationship with the police, the significance of private property and probably a hundred other things. Working through those differences requires a helluva lot more than “Look this guy loves the SD pigs because he is a private property owner patsy.” That kind of comment essentially ends the discussion with that personal, spurious slam. It gets my thumbs down.


dave rice October 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I was all ready to rip on that guy pretty good, then came in to find his comment yanked before I got a break at work…oh well.


Frank Gormlie October 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I think editordude didn’t want you to see it – he totally (the commenter) missed it and was dissing you after your thoughtful piece.


dave rice October 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Frank, if you had any idea what kind of political interweb arguments I got into as an early twenty-something…suffice it to say that moderation here is much more heavy-handed than I’m used to, and I’ve developed the skin of an elephant when it comes to anonymous web-based hate speech against me. I understand if you and/or the rest of the editorial board doesn’t want drivel devoid of conversational value here, and respect your right to decide what flies and what doesn’t – but consider me a vulture enthusiastic about picking over the wreckage of failed attacks on me.


Frank Gormlie October 13, 2011 at 9:43 am

Dave, sorry dude, all I really wanted to do was to spare you this guy’s insults to your first post in a while.


dave rice October 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

No worries man, you keep on modding however you see fit! And like Doug says, maybe letting the comment thread devolve into a train wreck wouldn’t have been the best thing for anyone…


Andy Cohen October 13, 2011 at 11:46 am

Here’s my stance on the matter: If you want all that nonsense and hatespeak, go somewhere else. It’s okay to disagree, but do so in an intelligent manner. Go to most any other news site that still allows anonymous commenters and you’ll find the lowst common denominators that pollute our discourse and only serve to further divide an already irreparably divided country. This is why I appreciate the comment policy here, and why I support the UT’s new policy of commenting through your facebook account. Trolls can no longer be trolls without being exposed as the ignorant pigs that they are.

If you want to be an idiot, fine. No problem. At least have the courage to stand behind your drivel. If not, you’re as worthless as the entire Rethuglican party.


Jodi October 12, 2011 at 11:20 am

I was also at last nights GA, and have witnessed it process since Friday. After last nights discussion, I clearly see that we are really focusing on how to make this work for everyone, so that GA doesn’t turn into some sort of “Congress”. The process is slowly, but surely coming together.


malcolm migacz October 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

Thanks Jodi, for your support if the OSD , i have also been to GA and it needs improvement. I have recommended that it be internet based so more people can be included. This change would allow for less travel, more concise ideas, and each voter would be held accountable for the outcome.


Bajadeano October 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm


Back in 2004 I signed up for the “Protest Warriors” group funded by the same dollars that brings us “Freedomworks” and the “tea Party”. After the 2004 election these Repug brownshirts disappeared. Now their back. Here is the first email I have received from them in years:
Defend Capitalism
Free Markets and Free People.

Dear Patriots
Many of you were part of Protest Warrior a number of years back. Protest warrior is no longer around , however many of us have stayed in touch with each other over the years. I myself was heavily involved in The New York City Chapter, and enjoyed quite a number of “operations” against the Left.

As you all may have seen over the last number of years and particularly the last number of weeks. The seditious left is attempting to strike at the heart of Capitalism itself – Wall Street!

We can no longer stand idly by, while these Leftist radicals attempt to collapse our free market system.

Using the left’s own playbook – Rules For Radicals, we will “Infiltrate and Humiliate” the Marxist hoards. We will NOT reveal ourselves, We will NOT have a website, We will not have any visible leaders. Our goal is to humiliate and embarrass. We will sow the seeds of paranoia and doubt among the left. We will expose them for the fools they are.

If you are with us, please respond.

For God and The Republic
I would suspect the San Diego chapter to become active again. I never went to a meeting so I do not know anyone in the group. The leader was called mash in the emails.


Allthink October 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm

The group you speak of honestly sounds scary. Peaceful protests are not their forte. However, we will die trying.


Christopher Moore October 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

>Marxist hoards
Wouldn’t that be hordes? Or are they hoarding stuff?
What would a Marxist hoard? Che posters?

I love how in these guy’s minds any criticism of an out-of control Wall Street that is destroying our *market* economy is somehow equivalent to an endorsement of Soviet-style state-run economics…


Marilyn Steber October 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Loved this post.
I think the only thing of Carl Marx’s I’ve read was his report of the American Civil War. Americans are afraid of Marxism, but I never knew why. Please enlighten me.
One of my German ancestors was in the Students Rebellion of 1848 in Bonn. So was Karl Schurz, who worked for the Lincoln election and became a General in the CW. My ancestor’s name is in the Bottendorf townbook “Went to Amerika because of his participation in the 1848 Rebellion”.
Would he have been an archivist because he was in a rebellion against the King of Prussia?


Christopher Moore October 13, 2011 at 9:12 am

Well, to be fair, the track record of self-described “Marxist” regimes is pretty appalling – the millions of deaths attributable to Mao and Stalin alone make the NAZI’s seem almost like amateurs.

Which is why the far right likes to accuse anyone to the left of, well, themselves as “Marxist” – it’s easier to throw out insults than actually debate policies.

Something to remember next time I’m tempted to call some rightwinger a “fascist” or the like. Better to stick to the facts and try to avoid the low road.


malcolm migacz October 13, 2011 at 11:14 am

Hello !! Christopher Moore. You may not think that the Right wingers in the USA are not fascist, but you know they are. please see video Chris Hedges on OSD facebook page. You will change your mind and then the truth about the fascist right.


malcolm migacz October 13, 2011 at 11:38 am
Marilyn Steber October 14, 2011 at 9:56 am

Malcolm, read his post more carefully. Certain words trigger anger and close down discussion and I think Christopher was saying this. An idea of the Fascist Party in Italy has been adopted here with nobody saying anything. We have done this cause business supposedly has the money to sponsor stuff like cleanup on the freeways. Would you call Partnership with business Fascisim? I would, but with definition of terms.
Now I’ll go see what Chris Hedges has to say. Thanks for the link.


Christopher Moore October 14, 2011 at 10:52 am

Yes, thanks Marilyn, that was exactly my point.

Sitting around flinging rhetorical turds at one another may be emotionally satisfying, but it accomplishes very little.

I am no fan of the current crop of Fox-inspired belligerent righties, but pinning labels on them only helps them paint themselves as poor persecuted martyrs.


Marilyn Steber October 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

Oh dear, “Anarchists” turned into people who keep records in Archives! Please excuse the typo! 8-)


Christopher Moore October 13, 2011 at 9:32 am

Surely there must be some anarchist archivists out there ;)


John P. Falchi October 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Dear Frank-
Thanks for your part in Occupy San Diego. Your wealth of experience with progressive groups is a valuable addition to the mix. Thanks, also, for the wonderful coverage you have been giving to Occupy San Diego in the O.B.rag. It has been very helpful to me. It would be interesting to talk to you about it.
Your friend, John
John P. Falchi
Ocean B each, CA 92107
619-222-6036 (H)


Ben October 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

“If you feel it’s plausible to expand the camp, do it and be ready to explain why it’s within your rights to do so. If the cops have a point in blocking you from expanding at your current location, expand the occupation elsewhere.”

Two problems with this. It’s not within anyone’s “rights” to be there in the first place. The occupation is illegal in that it violates a city ordinance, so any explanation is going to fail on it’s face.

Second, what if the cops don’t have a point? This comment seems to presume that police merely make “suggestions” that people are free to follow or not based on whether they recognize the validity of the point. Which isn’t the case. Let’s say they want to clear everyone out to make way for Hair the Musical, and people don’t see that as a valid point and make their best arguments as to why they don’t, and yet the police still insist, what then?

I’d also recommend this very nice article which sort of expresses the views on the other side of the Occupy movement: Dear Occupiers, a Letter from Anarchists


dave rice October 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Not talking about ‘rights’ in the sense that “I applied for, paid applicable fees, and obtained a permit to exercise my First Amendment rights.”

And I should have qualified the cops statement better – if you believe they’ve got a point, listen to them. If they don’t, listen to what they say and then make a conscious decision not to obey it.

I just think there’s a lot of scaremongering going on about a situation (battles with the police) that I just haven’t heard any concrete reports is actually happening. And thanks for the anarchist link, I’ll check it out!


dave rice October 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

I took a look at the link finally, good stuff there. I don’t see anything that contradicts my main point, though, which is that people need to quit worrying about the police so much. Maybe they’re a little less willing to believe that cops are humans too, and a little more willing to attempt to create a confrontation…I’m just saying to go out and do whatever you want to do and be prepared for the police to create conflict, but don’t worry too much about it aside from being prepared to know it might happen.


doug porter October 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I had to drive my wife to the airport this morning, and there, on KPBS at 6 am was Frank Gormlie being interviewed…. very cool.


Sandra Wolhwend October 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Wow, am I at a different event? The chaos, the drugs, the tragic death, the filth, the dogs pooping and peeing. Urination on every corner. How is the message going to be heard and understood when all you see is really wasted homeless and youth? Marijuana smoke fills the air. You want credibility, sober the f up people!


Mike James October 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Sally, you were at a different event apparently.
Occupy San Diego Protesters Aim For Clean Image
Source: Occupy San Diego Protesters Aim For Clean Image | NBC San Diego
“…many who pass through the plaza are surprised to see how clean the premises are.”

Source: Occupy San Diego Protesters Aim For Clean Image | NBC San Diego


doug porter October 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm

when i see a misinformed post like this one, I used to think that it was a real person. Now I’m not so sure. It seems as though the local branch of the GOP has deployed trolls to spread misinformation. (There will be a story relating to this in the OBRag tomorrow) So I googled Sandra Wolhwend. Of all the names that you could choose, she’s the one with absolutely no traces or mentions on the internet other than this one comment. I’m just sayin’….


unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG October 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm

There was a short mention of the occupation on FM 94.9 Monday or Tuesday night at 9:19 p.m.


Patty Jones October 12, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Dave, thanks for coming back to sharpen your teeth! ;)


Dickie October 13, 2011 at 8:54 am

I am on the road still [Alexandria, Virginia] but Ellen and I received the below email last night from a friend from up our way. It is great that Redding is Occupied . . . whodathunkit? I hope it lasts and I kind of can’t wait to get back . . . . . . [attention: James Gang, pretty cool, eh?]. Check out the link . . . Jim Dyar is a fine person and singer. My friend Paul who made the video is an inspiring citizen journalist.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Fwd: Occupy Redding
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 00:03:23 +0000 (UTC)
To: Dickie
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2011 9:19:50 AM Subject: Occupy Redding

Occupy Redding’s next action is at Chase Bank. You may find the details on Facebook Occupy Redding or Meetup.org. We had about 75-100 people, and growing. Paul

> > > My latest and greatest iMovie is now available on YouTube. You can view it at:




doug porter October 13, 2011 at 8:57 am

“Beat me! Whip me! Make me write bad checks!”
Your willingness to get flogged is greater than our willingness to watch another train wreck.


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