Occupy Miami: County hall isn't the only Miami institution that needs protesting
"Occupy Miami is hidden," one woman randomly complained to us over the phone last week. "No one even knows that they are there!" She had a point. Tucked behind the Stephen P. Clark Government Center like a cozy college tailgating party, Occupy Miami has spent three weeks among the most peaceful — and perhaps least confrontational — anti-Wall Street protests. We're not advocating Oakland-style dumpster fires, but here are five places that could do with a visit from the 99 percent:
5. American Airlines Arena: Sports are one of the few things we 99-percenters have to brighten our plebeian days. So why shouldn't we be pissed that incredibly rich owners such as Heat honcho Micky Arison — who doesn't even pay rent for his taxpayer-funded arena — and millionaire stars like LeBron James can't figure out how to get back on the court?
4. Miami Marlins' new stadium: The things we love most so often turn around and kick us directly in the nuts. Like the soon-to-be Miami Marlins, whose owner, Jeffrey Loria, lied about the millions in his coffers and then his sycophantic politicians gave the taxpayers a $2.4 billion bill for a baseball palace no one wanted. As if to rub Bengay on our aching testes, the ball club unveiled a garish "signature home-run sculpture" complete with lasers and psychedelic fish.
3. Ocean Drive: If Miami's 99 percent can rally around one thing, it's a hatred for people who buy "I'm in Miami Bitch" T-shirts in SoBe. It's time to shut down Ocean Drive! Pros: Lots of available camp space on the beach and tons of restrooms courtesy of a Starbucks on every corner. Cons: It's hard to look like downtrodden class warriors against a backdrop of frolicking beach bunnies.
2. 1 Herald Plaza: If Occupy Miami is serious about fighting the corporate takeover of America, look no further than the Miami Herald's headquarters. That's where the Genting Group wants to build the nation's largest casino. The Malaysian company has already started a mad scramble to buy politicians' votes across Florida. If Occupy Miami is looking for a symbol of money, power, and smelly, smelly politics, this is it.
1. Star Island: Government Center may be the epicenter of county politics, but it ain't where the money's at. That would be celebrity-laden Star Island. We're not saying bags of flaming poo should be left on Alex Rodriguez's front porch — he already left enough of his own at home plate this season — but Miami's rich could do with a little reminder that life is a bitch when you don't have servants and a swimming pool. After all, Miami is the second-most unequal city in the nation, with the average resident making just $36,357 a year. If you're going to protest inequality, why not take it to the moneybags?
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