Add this to your list of ways that the #Occupy movement is treated differently than the tea party; an Ohio tattoo artist named Joshua Fellows was arrested during Occupy Wall Street’s late November’s “Day of Action” for possession of an unlicensed gun and 32 rounds of ammunition that were in his truck that he recklessly drove around New York City, toting dozens of members of the #Occupy movement. Mr. Fellows also had a domestic violence restraining order against him, which prohibited him from possessing any weapons. Fellows says that he had obtained the 45 caliber handgun in North Carolina at the Occupy Asheville protest. The response of the “nonviolent” Occupy Wall Street General Assembly? They voted for a special dispensation to pay for Mr. Fellow’s $25,000 bail.
The story was largely ignored him ignored in the national press but reported in a couple of articles in the New York Post, at Gothamist.com and in discussion on the Occupy Wall Street’s official website for the New York City General Assembly, where a discussion ensued about the bail payments. The Finance Committee of #OWS claims that the money was not taken from the general fund of Occupy but from unnamed “other sources”; however, that doesn’t change the fact that the vote was taken and the $25,000 bail money was approved by the NYCGA.
One interesting note from the New York Post coverage; Mr. Fellows is described by everyone who knows him including his mother as having a very short temper. The incident that resulted in the restraining order involved Mr. Fellows threatening his wife and then crashing his truck into her car. What triggered Mr. Fellows’ rage that day? Apparently, his young son mentioned that Mr. Fellows had a bad temper.
In the NYCGA website discussion, some of the Occupiers also posit the theory that the police may have planted the weapon on Mr. Fellows. In this thread, an Occupier named Tom Gillis as:
Does anybody have the facts on this case? Do we know the gun charge isn’t totally bogus? You think the police wouldn’t plant evidence to put somebody away or try to bankrupt the movement?
Mr. Gillis makes this conspiratorial claim despite the fact that the article linked in the discussion shows that Mr. Fellows admitted that the weapon was his.
This incident points out the fallacy in one of the Occupy movement’s most prevalent defenses. When any wrongdoing is pointed out at #Occupy, many of its defenders jump into say, “Well! You can’t judge an entire movement by the actions of a few people. These are isolated incidents and not everyone involved in occupy is a violent protester with a hairtrigger temper who is driving around Manhattan with an unregistered 45 caliber pistol.”
That’s true. Not everyone at Occupy Wall Street is Joshua Fellows and not everyone at Occupy supported bailing him out. There are some sane people at #Occupy who realized that paying $25,000 in bail money for man who brought a gun to their events might not be a great idea. However, look at what the organization did: the official General Assembly of New York City took a special vote about paying this money and it passed. The vote was not “the act of a few people.” The 99% spoke and the sane people lost.
#Occupy Wall Street owns this decision and somebody in the national media needs to hold them to account for it.
This raises the rather obvious point that I mentioned at the beginning of this article – imagine if the tea party had officially voted to spend $25,000 in donation money to bail out a person with a violent past who had been driving around to various tea party events with a weapon that he was not supposed to possess because of a restraining order that was against him. Well, you probably can’t imagine it because it would never happen. Most tea party members are staunch advocates of the Second Amendment, but probably agree that Mr. Fellows shouldn’t be in possession of firearms due to his criminal history.
But if such a thing happened, both the left-wing blogosphere and the mainstream media would have been falling all over each other to see who could scream the loudest about it. You know it, I know it and every honest liberal knows. The problem, of course, is that I’ve discovered in the last year or so that there aren’t that many honest liberals.