Occupy DC ending in a fizzle


DC’s Examiner carried the story last week:

Occupy DC’s base camp in McPherson Square morphed over the past nine months from a few dozen protesters in sleeping bags to a virtual tent city. But over the past few weeks, one of the most enduring encampments of the national anti-Wall Street movement has all but disappeared.

A library tent and a few tarps are all that remain of the ongoing vigil, and Occupiers who once spent their days in McPherson Square at the corner of 15th and K streets are mostly gone. Many of those who remain now meet in the offices that a labor union, the Service Employees International Union, rented for them a few blocks away. (read more)

Yes… departing the pattern… the protest that was more being seen than actually doing anything.

My daily walk to work passes McPherson Square (that’s Mc-fur-son!), and I’ve shared some of the scenes before. The video from the Examiner shows the square as it looked last week:

Since then, the Occupiers have dropped even more tents – including the “library” tent. The National Park Service, who administers the square, has already fenced off most of the ground for re-seeding grass. Soon the rest of the square will follow. Time to let the “grass roots” recover.

When I passed through on Friday, one of the newer signs caught my eye:

“To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards of men.” – Abraham Lincoln.

Sounds like a Lincolnism. But is it? Um… well… not exactly. It comes from a poem written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (you know the “Laugh and the world laughs with you” lady) appearing in the 1910s. Clearly the sign makers didn’t consult Wikiquotes.

Now let me ask, what would be the reaction if someone else – say, Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum – had misquoted Abe Lincoln? Or what if that sign was held by a Tea Party member?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Occupy DC ending in a fizzle

  1. Oh the left STILL can’t forgive or forget Palin or the tea party. Sucks to be the party always running against things. In my pol-sci class back in ’97, the commie prof showed us a movie about a failed labor-church movement in the south during the bitter UMW strikes. It was called “The Fighting Ministers”. They didn’t have a platform, no real core principles and they didn’t have allies in the establishment. They did toss dead skunks at banks. And now history repeats as farce.

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  2. When the United Mine Workers teamed up with the local churches in West Virgina, they fizzled. No core principles, no positive message and they had no real allies. They did toss dead skunks at banks. #Occupy was the same thing, just with basement dwellers, conspiracy buffs and college slackers. Long on rage, short on something positive.

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  3. Bill

    The quote actually comes from her 1904 collection _Around the Year_ (available on Google Books). The Occupy folks took someone’s word for it that it was a Lincoln quote; your source took someone’s word for it that it came from the 1910s. Both were wrong.

    There is so much stuff like this online now in original form that it is often easy enough to actually find out where something came from, rather than trust a web page named “wiki”.

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    • Bill, I left the publication window open to a round about decade.
      For the purposes of my post, it does not matter the least. You want to quibble over the dates, then go get a degree in English Lit. But until then you can turn around and check your attitude at the door.

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    • Bill, you might also check YOUR sources. As I look back at my sources, I find “Poems of Protest” were I confirmed the citation. That volume was indeed published in 1914 (which is, you must admit in the 1910s). To be honest, the Wikiquotes link was selected by way of WordPress’s auto generated reference list. I did not visit the site when writing the post, just went there to confirm WordPress’s nomination. Turns out, as more often than not, it was spot on.

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  4. RoundHammer117

    “It just goes to show, Mr.Swain, that one cannot always rely upon the veracity of items found within the confines of the internet.”
    -President Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

    “I second the President’s quote.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “Verily, I doth think the internets is naught but a bed of lies at times. It makes for a most foul and dark humor.”
    -William Shakespeare

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