So, this weekend I made my monthly mandatory visit home to see my family. I live in a ridiculously small town, which is comprised of random homes in the middle of the wilderness. It’s located kind of close to Louisville; by close I mean around 45 minutes away. This weekend my mother and I decided to go into Louisville and grab lunch and walk around the city. Later that night, while my parents were watching the news, I heard that Occupy Louisville had a protest that turned violent that day and I was shocked. While we were in the city, which was during the protest, I heard and saw nothing. While we weren’t near the Chase Bank on Baxter Avenue, I was still surprised that no one mentioned it while we were in the city.
The news report coverage reminded me a lot of what we discussed in class about Occupy Oakland. The news attempted to present an unbiased opinion of the violence that took place outside of the Chase Bank on Baxter Avenue, and they interviewed protesters as well as aired a video that was released by Occupy Louisville that someone shot from their phone. Online, they have the video posted as well as their interviews from protesters. One protester stated, “‘I don’t really know what drove the police to arrest the protesters to be honest. We were having a peaceful protest. No one was being violent, except the police did turn violent.’” Surprisingly, the piece online actually pays more attention to the perspective of the protester, rather than the police. However, the report was still very bare bones, and released very little in depth information concerning the protest and its cause. This is unlike another article concerning the protest, which gives more in depth information about the actual protest, its cause, and what kind of violence took place.
While the unprovoked violence that took place against the protesters is disturbing, the comments on the articles are just as troubling. The lack of discussion concerning the protest that I experienced while I was in the city made me believe the residents of Louisville were apathetic to the protest. It reminded me a lot of the second video we watched in class about the protests in Paris. However, these comment on the articles shed light on the violence some of the residence of Louisville feel towards the protestors. One particular comment caught my eye. The anonymous individual states
I can assure you that if you block my way. That I will go right through you and if you lay one hand on me I’m going to knock you out. This sort of harassment of people needs to be stopped. If you want to protest, do it legally and lawfully, wear a T shirt that espouses your views. But don’t interfere with my right to carry on my daily business in a way that I need to do or want to do. Take a bath, get a job, do your job, and don’t cause us problems. No better than welfare leeches.
The violence and basis this anonymous person feels towards these protestors is overwhelming.