To address concerns put forth by local conservatives like Paul Jenkins and Mike Dingman about the excesses of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as disproportionately reported by The Blaze and Fox News, both the Occupy Anchorage and Occupy Fairbanks movements have published statements renouncing violence and other forms of public misbehavior. A list of all known October 15th Occupy Alaska events appears on the bottom of this post, after the jump.
From the Occupy Anchorage Facebook page comes this statement of non-violence principles:
OCCUPY ANCHORAGE NONVIOLENCE PRINCIPLES:
1. We will carry no weapons.
2. We will not vandalize or destroy property.
3. We will not use or carry alcohol or illegal drugs.
4. We will not swear or use insulting language.
5. We will not run or make threatening motions.
6. We will protect those who oppose us from insult or attack, by deescalating conflict.
7. We will not assault, either verbally or physically, those who oppose or disagree with us, even if they assault us.
8. Our attitude, as conveyed through words, symbols, and actions, will be one of respect toward all, including police officers, military personnel, counter-demonstrators, and members of the larger community.
Number 7 actually goes above and beyond what is normally expected; I have no qualms about someone defending themselves against physical attack. But this just shows the determination by Occupy Anchorage organizers to keep the movement respectable and promote more public support.
The Occupy Alaska website shows that Occupy Fairbanks has also made a similar commitment. They note that while they stand in solidarity with the Occupy groups across the country, that the actions of other groups do not necessarily represent Occupy Fairbanks' image or ideals. Occupy Fairbanks also notes that, contrary to the national image of "dirty hippies banging drums" being portrayed, their movement consists of a cross-section of workers, artists, veterans, musicians, volunteers, and now activists whose interest in Fairbanks is the enrichment of their community. Specifically, they write:
We value and respect our community greatly, and frown upon acts of violence or destruction directed at the community. So far in our occupation of Constitution Park on UAF campus, we have striven to keep the area clean of litter, and discourage graffiti or defacement of any kind- only chalk and cardboard adorn the park. This is representative of what the rest of the winter will be like with OFBX. Destruction and violence are in direct opposition to everything that we value and hope to accomplish.
Thus the Occupy Alaska movements are worthy of public support and participation. This represents an unusual and overdue opportunity for the right and the left to suspend their customary political warfare and get together on issues bigger than all of us put together.
Here's a list of all the known Occupy Alaska events for October 15th, 2011:
-- Occupy Anchorage: Will form up at Towne Square in downtown Anchorage beginning at 12:00 P.M.
-- Occupy Fairbanks: Will form up form up at Sadler's parking lot in Fairbanks by 11:30 A.M., then beginning at noon, will march from Airport Way down Cushman Street to the Cushman Street bridge.
-- Occupy Homer: Tentatively planned to form up at the WKFL Park at the corner of Pioneer Avenue and Heath Street in downtown Homer beginning at 12:00 P.M.
-- Occupy Juneau: Tentatively plan to form up at Marine Park at 12:00 P.M. The Alaska Constitution Party has expressed solidarity with this group.
-- Occupy Kenai/Soldotna: Carpooling to Anchorage to join the action there.