As Occupy gets under way after several months of hiatus, the public is finding even less to like about the group. A poll commisioned by CBS San Francisco found support for the group dwindling, and more than 2/3 of those polled felt the police response was either appropriate or not harsh enough.
May Day violence in Oakland resulted in 25 arrests after businesses were vandalized and threatened by anarchist protesters associated with the Occupy movement. One individual was arrested for felony assault on a police officer, and two more were arrested for felony arson.
Downtown business owners described an ugly scene where protesters threatened to disrupt shops which dared to stay open on the day of the so-called "general strike":
Earlier on Tuesday, about 40 Occupy protesters swarmed into Bittersweet Cafe, also on Broadway near 14th. "It was scary," co-owner Diana Meckfessel said. "They came in, ripped up stuff, grabbed chairs and said 'We're shutting you down; you're not supposed to be open today.'"
This thuggish behavior was described on the Occupy Oakland website as "flying pickets to shut down Uptown & Downtown Business Associations."
There was a similar scene in San Francisco where Occupy marchers damaged numerous businesses and as many as 17 cars in a rampage through the Mission district. Mayor Ed Lee toured the damage Wednesday and estimated that Occupiers had done hundreds of thousands in damage. He summed up his reaction as one of disgust: "The people who hide themselves behind Occupy and then do that kind of damage are really - it's disgusting to see that."
Not surprisingly, the public is not enamored with the new Occupy movement. CBS San Francisco ran a poll which was reported on air last night. The survey of 500 people showed 24 percent of those who previously supported the movement have changed their minds. In one of the more liberal parts of the country, Occupy now has a 34-54 favorable-unfavorable rating. As for the police response, 24 percent felt it was too harsh, while 35 percent felt it was just right and 32 percent felt it was not harsh enough.
This movement has never represented 99 percent of the country. If that wasn't clear last fall, it should be now.