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Boardmember Diane Lapson had many of her peers nodding their heads when she stressed "both sides need to chill out. I have lived here since 1975 and have heard nothing but noise, mostly from the rich real estate types taking away low-income housing." As for the protesters, they should realize that "people need their sleep. If my 14-year-old daughter was drumming in our apartment all day, I'd murder her."Congratulations to the Democrats who've embraced these lunatics. They're now on record supporting people who expose their genitals in public.
Last week the protesters ratified a Good Neighbor Policy that permitted the drumming for two hours between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., a rule that proved difficult to enforce. As the committee confirmed that the drumming would in fact be limited to two hours and enforced by the protesters' own volunteer security team, a woman who identified herself as "a drummer" repeatedly shouted "four!" A protester tugged on her sleeve and scolded her, but she continued her periodic outbursts: "It's the drilling that's more noisy!" Occupy Wall Street's current sanitation manager at the park, Max Hodes, told us, "I heard she works for the Huffington Post."
As the meeting wore on, noise complaints gave way to stories of people defecating and urinating in public places and one woman claimed that "two protesters exposed their genitalia to me. Something must be done." Area man Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, took the mic to say, "Occupations by definition are un-democratic, and these people are taking our space. And they talk about democracy. Democracies are supposed to be accountable. These protesters need to be accountable for what goes down there."
Meanwhile, the genitalia-exposing mob is getting a wee bit testy.
All belongings and money in the park are supposed to be held in common, but property rights reared their capitalistic head when facilitators went to clean up the park, which was looking more like a shantytown than usual after several days of wind and rain. The local community board was due to send in an inspector, so the facilitators and cleaners started moving tarps, bags, and personal belongings into a big pile in order to clean the park.
But some refused to budge. A bearded man began to gather up a tarp and an occupier emerged from beneath, screaming: “You’re going to break my fucking tent, get that shit off!” Near the front of the park, two men in hoodies staged a meta-sit-in, fearful that their belongings would be lost or appropriated.
Daniel Zetah, a 35-year-old lead facilitator from Minnesota, mounted a bench. “We need to clear this out. There are a bunch of kids coming to stay here.” One of the hoodied men fought back: “I’m not giving up my space for fucking kids. They have parents and homes. My parents are dead. This is my space.”
Other organizers were more blunt. “If you don’t want to be part of this group, then you can just leave,” yelled a facilitator in a button-down shirt, “Every week we clean our house.” Seth Harper, the pro-drummer proletarian, chimed in on the side of the sitters. “We disagree on how we should clean it. A lot of us disagree with the pile.” Zetah, tall and imposing with a fiery red beard, closed debate with a sigh. “We’re all big boys and girls. Let’s do this.” As he told me afterwards, “A lot of people are like spoiled children." The cure? A cold snap. “Personally, I cannot wait for winter. It will clear out these people who aren’t here for the right reasons. Bring on the snow. The real revolutionaries will stay in -50 degrees.”
“The sunshine protestors will leave,” said “Zonkers,” a 20-year-old cleaner and longtime occupier from Tennessee. (He asked that his name not be used due to a felony marijuana conviction.) “The people who remain are the people who care. You get a lot of crust punks, silly kids, people who want to panhandle ... It disgusts me. These people are here for a block party.”