There are many ways to garner support for a movement; you can appeal to peoples’ sympathy, education the masses, or provide charity to those in need. One thing is for certain though, making live miserable for the average person is only going to generate resentment and hard feelings. It appears that a portion of the OccupyMN participants have decided that support is overrated and instead decided making life miserable for commuters was jolly good fun:
Seven OccupyMN demonstrators have been arrested for blocking traffic today after refusing to leave tents set up in the middle of the intersection of 6th Street S. and 3rd Av. S.
Yeah, because blocking an intersection with tents is such a grant idea. While those hauled off by the police probably think they were making a statement and people will flock to their aid after seeing peaceful protesters arrested the reality is far different. By blocking traffic these protesters have made themselves noticeable pains in the ass for the average person who probably hadn’t taken sides yet. When you become a pain in the ass people want you to go away so getting arrested in this case will probably be met with cheers instead of outrage by average commuters.
Civil disobedience only works if you have a large enough number of people on your side. Smoke outs work well because most people see little reason why somebody smoking marijuana should spend time in jail at taxpayer expense. This is because most people haven’t been negatively affected by somebody smoking marijuana. On the other hand if somebody was mugged by a person who just toked up there is a high chance the victim will develop a resentment towards marijuana smokers.
I’ve said many times that I’m glad to see people pissed off enough to make a statement. With that said if you’re going to make a statement you should probably try to make a positive one less people start becoming OK with the idea of cops in riot gear marching into your occupation launching tear gas and beating ass with batons.