Reader mail: Occupy Miami has gone to hell

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Nice kids: Regarding Michael E. Miller's March 22 feature story, "Occupy Overtown": I just came across Occupy Miami two days ago, and from what I see, it is a beautiful thing and a movement that is backed up by strong supporters who mean well for their communities and what they stand for. There is a bit of mischievous activity, but it's nothing that will affect the neighborhood or kill anybody. Critics have blown the whole thing out of proportion.

Daniel Kampf


Messy kids: The problem with Occupy is that it rides the backs of middle-class people while it claims to support them. The land the protesters used for months in downtown had to be resodded and fixed up. They came to a nice green field and left a dead dirt lot. I didn't see any of them fixing it up. All I saw was working-class tax dollars going toward cleaning up after them. Explain the value in that?

Gabriel Reyes


Anti-dystopic kids: People like to call the Occupy movement a protest, and although it is, it is more so a vast social experiment. Occupiers are not necessarily activists proper, but generally they are individuals expressing a healthy discontent with the state of affairs in our beloved country.

The issues brought to light by this article and by the nationwide protest efforts are symptoms of a growing American dystopia. Nobody has the answers, and most people in this country are simply sleepwalking into an unclear future. But one thing is certain: Corporations. Rule. Everything. Around. Me.


Phil Ünder


Unemployed kids: If they all just got jobs, there would be nothing to write about, so keep up the good work — we wouldn't want to stop paying for your welfare, childcare, Section 8, food programs, and just generally having to pick up the tab of laziness. That's the America I know and the one these so-called protesters love.

Skydvr77


Fringe kids: I guess this is why I never knew there still was an Occupy Miami movement. Any protest now is called an Occupy movement. And this Señor Paz is a good example of why it's become a fringe movement.

Bullykiller


Good and bad kids: I was actually there not long ago writing a story for my journalism class. The Occupy movement was a beautiful idea in the beginning stages, inspired by the true revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia, but now it's just an annoyance to the communities.

But don't blame all the shadiness on the occupiers. Some are actually there because they believe in a brighter world ruled by the people. But the squatters and the bums screw it up for all of them.


jtalavera0788

This guy doesn't realize they're kids: How about the Miami police finally grow a pair and kick the dope-smoking, drug-taking, maggot-infested Occutards out of the building?! Do this all over the nation; the Occutards will scatter like rats until their god-king Pharaoh Bobo the Clown loses in a landslide in November.

Neckbeards4bobo


Fans? You Call Them Fans?

Bad dancers, maybe: For all the haters who are bashing the new Marlins theme song as the "gayest thing you've ever heard" ("Fan Freakout," Tim Elfrink, March 22), I bet at some point in your life there's footage of you inebriated, singing at the top of your lungs, and dancing your best moves to the "Macarena" at your cousin's wedding! LOL!

MeetMein305


Or pliable opportunists: The haters will be jumping all over the team once it starts winning, as Miami "fans" always do. Even the people bashing the new stadium and the overuse of taxpayer money will be screaming Marlins in due time.

Paul Hernandez


Here's a real fan: I've heard a lot of people say they think this is the worst song ever written. Really? I love it! I think it's very catchy! What the hell do you want from a theme song? Don't forget that all the whiny, gay-bashing comments from supposed fans of the Marlins don't represent all the folks going to the games. Most of these folks are hard-working, educated family people bringing the kids out to enjoy a bit of America's pastime. This song, along with every other team song on the planet, will probably never win a Grammy, but will it get the fans on their feet to cheer for a suffering franchise? I say yes! Maybe if some of you haters played it for your kids — unless the state has banned you from procreating — you could all learn how to spell. Whoever is behind writing this tune, damn the torpedoes! This is a fun, interactive song, a great story, as well as a beautiful cause. Best of luck to you!

Tattmandu

 
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4 comments
Elise Rothman d'Hauthuille
Elise Rothman d'Hauthuille

Occupy Everything!

I agree with Daniel Kampf 99% :-)

No seriously, before one says some negative about a subject, shouldn't they know something about it. I am 51, work, have 3 kids in college (actually two just "got out") and support the Occupy Movement 99% (nothing is without imperfection). Why would anyone criticize bringing to the forefront, the outrageous growing disparity between the rich and the poor. Maybe we should all stick our heads in the sand, go about our work and let our planet be destroyed by silly stupid men in suits? I think not. Occupy Everything!

Kevin Young
Kevin Young

Attention Michel Miller:Yet again you’ve missed the message, while focusing on but a few foolish messengers.Paz- Is no “Savior”, And you labeling him as such, even in jest, will only add to his already often inflated ego and megalomania. He has no more influence or control over the group than anyone else. He has never acted out in violence. Even in his delusions, he has shown nothing but kindness.

Steven Aka “Hate”- This is a man who has been REPEATEDLY kicked out of the group. He was the FIRST person kicked out of the camp for drug use and inciting violence. Months later when he returned, Police refused to remove him from the site. He does NOT represent this movement, and has never contributed to our goals. He calls himself an anarchist, but when discussing the subject of anarchism; he has NO knowledge on the history, philosophy, or organizational work behind it. He contributes to nothing to the group, and has only functioned to sabotage our Image and efforts as a whole.

Freedom Rider - A young man with clear & apparent mental disorders, as he has admitted to being schizophrenic. He is considered by most, a frequent but minor announce. He has been asked to leave several times when he has started act out, but is allowed back when he behaves. He has a good heart and is relatively harmless (except perhaps to our image).

And these are the people you focus on and use as your main sources for your story? What about the 5 + other occupiers you interviewed with knowledge of the movement and issues?

The real story of the building is far more interesting.Before the eviction it was the site of the ‘’rouge kitchen”. The original camp cook and a few other occupiers were tenants of the building during the days of the camp. After the eviction, it became a residence for a group of roughly 15-20 individuals who were evicted from the camp. These individuals’ occupied units that were not fit for rental! Many of these units had been gutted and their doors removed, BEFORE the eviction of the camp took place. Since then, they have attempted to form a working group for that site, and made improvements fixing up the units being occupied. Tenants of the building have had their own issues with the owner, the occupiers stand on the side of tenant rights and have begun to improve relationships between the neighbors in the building. We have a video of the altercation between Leroy and the tenant. Contrary to what you stated in your documentation of the accounts, Leroy was on the second floor, the woman was on the first. At no time did he grab her hand and curse her out. On March 13th, The Building was raided without warrant or just cause, just as a group was assembling to partake in a bank protest. The raid was carried out by the Joint Interdiction Task Force. This task force is comprised of Anti-Narcotics and Anti-Terrorism units of the Miami Dade police department. They arrived in SWAT trucks and body armor with automatic weapon and shotguns. The pulled everyone out of the building at gun point, tenants and occupiers alike. The people and the units were searched. No drugs or weapons were found, nothing was reported as seized, no arrests were made, but 3 people (one being an Egyptian American and the only Muslim of the group) staying in the building were brought in and questioned for hours before being released. Complaints about the clear violation of rights have been filed, as the emergence of a militaristic police state rears its ugly head. Just as recently as Saturday the 24th, Police assaulted an occupier from the building as he was walking by the torch of friendship, the most recent site of our weekly GA. He was jumped from behind by an officer in a ski mask, and assaulted while his phone, wallet and glasses were stolen from him. He was let go without charge. An official press release and statement about this event will be published soon.

In coming weeks Occupiers, both those living inside and outside the building will be working with various non profits and community groups to erect the garden, as well as to advocate and organize on issues affecting the Overtown community, and Miami as a whole.

It would be nice, for once, to see some real investigative reporting on the actual issues that have brought this chain of events forward… such as our grievances.The following is a brief overview of the grievances that were created, edited and voted upon and approved by the Occupy Miami General Assembly in December of 2011. 1: The Foreclosure crisis has devastated Miami Dade and south Florida, along with the rest of the state. We have partaken in 3 eviction defenses, and have been successful in stalling the evictions thus far.2: Corruption in Politics. 3: Systemic Corruption. This includes the removal of Carlos Migoya from CEO of JMH, and his connection to the laundering of 4 billion dollars from Mexican Drug cartel money.4: Lack of jobs and a poor economy. 5: The cost of higher education continues to rise, while the public funding and quality of education in general continues to decline. 6: The Casinos and Miapolis projects consideration without a public referendum and the use of a foreign labor force for their construction. This has since been brought to the public’s attention and momentarily stalled. 7: Wastefulness in government, and poor environmental standards. Also addressed in this grievance is a lack of enforcement of county recycling laws and the adoption of a bottle deposit bill.8: The failed war on drugs is a great cost to society, with few positive benefits. Criminal records deny employment opportunities which ultimately results in a higher likelihood of repeating criminal activity9: Violation of privacy and public trust through the unlawful and unwarranted installment of surveillance technology in the form of Red Light Cameras, and FPL’s installation of “smart meters” that digitally records data on every aspect of one’s home energy use. The Cameras will actually cost the county more money as more and more people fight the validity of the tickets in court. While the smart meters will justify FPL raising rates during “peak times” and will digitally record all user data to use their discretion without consent of the user.10: The Disparages between the rich and poor is no more evident than right here in downtown Miami. The interlinked epidemic of unemployment, homelessness and drug addiction has only been exasperated by a lack of social services. With respect to basic human rights we Demand Better assistance for the homeless in Miami Dade; and enforcement of the Pottinger decision. The complete list of grievances of local, state and national issues can be found at occupymiami.org and on our groups facebook page.

Despite your best efforts to exploit our weaknesses, The Occupy Movement will continue, here in Miami and around the globe. It will do so under many names, evolving and spawning into new groups of activists and organizations fighting for the common good. We will continue to organize in Miami towards a general Strike for May 1st, as well as to raise support for the OCCUPIED amendment, and to have our grievances addressed and acted upon.

Kevin Young
Kevin Young

Attention Michel Miller:

Yet again you’ve missed the message, while focusing on but a few foolish messengers.Paz- Is no “Savior”, And you labeling him as such, even in jest, will only add to his already often inflated ego and megalomania. He has no more influence or control over the group than anyone else. He has never acted out in violence. Even in his delusions, he has shown nothing but kindness.

Steven Aka “Hate”- This is a man who has been REPEATEDLY kicked out of the group. He was the FIRST person kicked out of the camp for drug use and inciting violence. Months later when he returned, Police refused to remove him from the site. He does NOT represent this movement, and has never contributed to our goals. He calls himself an anarchist, but when discussing the subject of anarchism; he has NO knowledge on the history, philosophy, or organizational work behind it. He contributes to nothing to the group, and has only functioned to sabotage our Image and efforts as a whole.

Freedom Rider - A young man with clear & apparent mental disorders, as he has admitted to being schizophrenic. He is considered by most, a frequent but minor announce. He has been asked to leave several times when he has started act out, but is allowed back when he behaves. He has a good heart and is relatively harmless (except perhaps to our image).

And these are the people you focus on and use as your main sources for your story? What about the 5 + other occupiers you interviewed with knowledge of the movement and issues?

The real story of the building is far more interesting.Before the eviction it was the site of the ‘’rouge kitchen”. The original camp cook and a few other occupiers were tenants of the building during the days of the camp. After the eviction, it became a residence for a group of roughly 15-20 individuals who were evicted from the camp. These individuals’ occupied units that were not fit for rental! Many of these units had been gutted and their doors removed, BEFORE the eviction of the camp took place. Since then, they have attempted to form a working group for that site, and made improvements fixing up the units being occupied. Tenants of the building have had their own issues with the owner, the occupiers stand on the side of tenant rights and have begun to improve relationships between the neighbors in the building. We have a video of the altercation between Leroy and the tenant. Contrary to what you stated in your documentation of the accounts, Leroy was on the second floor, the woman was on the first. At no time did he grab her hand and curse her out. On March 13th, The Building was raided without warrant or just cause, just as a group was assembling to partake in a bank protest. The raid was carried out by the Joint Interdiction Task Force. This task force is comprised of Anti-Narcotics and Anti-Terrorism units of the Miami Dade police department. They arrived in SWAT trucks and body armor with automatic weapon and shotguns. The pulled everyone out of the building at gun point, tenants and occupiers alike. The people and the units were searched. No drugs or weapons were found, nothing was reported as seized, no arrests were made, but 3 people (one being an Egyptian American and the only Muslim of the group) staying in the building were brought in and questioned for hours before being released. Complaints about the clear violation of rights have been filed, as the emergence of a militaristic police state rears its ugly head. Just as recently as Saturday the 24th, Police kid napped and assaulted an occupier from the building as he was walking by the torch of friendship, the most recent site of our weekly GA. He was pulled into the back of a police car by a masked officer, and assaulted while his phone, wallet and glasses were stolen from him. He was let go without charge.

In coming weeks Occupiers, both those living inside and outside the building will be working with various non profits and community groups to erect the garden, as well as to advocate and organize on issues affecting the Overtown community, and Miami as a whole.

It would be nice, for once, to see some real investigative reporting on the actual issues that have brought this chain of events forward… such as our grievances.The following is a brief overview of the grievances that were created, edited and voted upon and approved by the Occupy Miami General Assembly in December of 2011. 1: The Foreclosure crisis has devastated Miami Dade and south Florida, along with the rest of the state. We have partaken in 3 eviction defenses, and have been successful in stalling the evictions thus far.2: Corruption in Politics. 3: Systemic Corruption. This includes the removal of Carlos Migoya from CEO of JMH, and his connection to the laundering of 4 billion dollars from Mexican Drug cartel money.4: Lack of jobs and a poor economy. 5: The cost of higher education continues to rise, while the public funding and quality of education in general continues to decline. 6: The Casinos and Miapolis projects consideration without a public referendum and the use of a foreign labor force for their construction. This has since been brought to the public’s attention and momentarily stalled. 7: Wastefulness in government, and poor environmental standards. Also addressed in this grievance is a lack of enforcement of county recycling laws and the adoption of a bottle deposit bill.8: The failed war on drugs is a great cost to society, with few positive benefits. Criminal records deny employment opportunities which ultimately results in a higher likelihood of repeating criminal activity9: Violation of privacy and public trust through the unlawful and unwarranted installment of surveillance technology in the form of Red Light Cameras, and FPL’s installation of “smart meters” that digitally records data on every aspect of one’s home energy use. The Cameras will actually cost the county more money as more and more people fight the validity of the tickets in court. While the smart meters will justify FPL raising rates during “peak times” and will digitally record all user data to use their discretion without consent of the user.10: The Disparages between the rich and poor is no more evident than right here in downtown Miami. The interlinked epidemic of unemployment, homelessness and drug addiction has only been exasperated by a lack of social services. With respect to basic human rights we Demand Better assistance for the homeless in Miami Dade; and enforcement of the Pottinger decision. The complete list of grievances of local, state and national issues can be found at occupymiami.org and on our groups facebook page.

Despite your best efforts to exploit our weaknesses, The Occupy Movement will continue, here in Miami and around the globe. It will do so under many names, evolving and spawning into new groups of activists and organizations fighting for the common good. We will continue to organize in Miami towards a general Strike for May 1st, as well as to raise support for the OCCUPIED amendment, and to have our grievances addressed and acted upon.

 
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