Many poll respondents ready for ‘occupy’ to end

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2011

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – Across the country, “occupy” movements have begun to be or already have been removed from the public parks where the protesters took up residence for the past several weeks. In New Orleans, a struggle has been waged over the past week regarding whether the protesters have the right to be in Duncan Plaza, across from City Hall.

The protesters were initially evicted from the park, but a judge later rescinded this eviction, and the current state of the protest currently hangs in a kind of legal limbo.

Regardless of the outcome of that particular case, the protests have been a major topic of discussion since they began in September. Accordingly, last week L’Observateur asked visitors to its website what they think about the protests and the subsequent evictions of protesters from public spaces.

While not a majority, a large portion of poll respondents were happy to see the protesters leave the parks. Nearly half of those who voted said they thought most of the protesters were nothing more than a bunch of slackers who did not want to work.

Other respondents had a little more sympathy for the protesters.

More than one-third of respondents either thought the protesters had a good idea but may have failed in their execution. Another 4 percent said that although they felt the protesters were on to something, the time had come for them to leave the parks.

Finally, a little less than one in five respondents felt it did not matter what message the protesters had because no one has the right to “occupy” a public park after the posted closing time.

A full breakdown of results follows:

• 19 percent of respondents chose “I think it is good that the nation’s young people are standing up for their beliefs, and they should not get kicked out of a public space.”

• 17 percent of respondents chose “I think the movement was good but misguided, and it got hijacked by some undesirable elements.”

• 4 percent of respondents chose “I think the protesters had something valid to say, but it is about time for them to leave the parks.”

• 44 percent of respondents chose “I say good riddance. The protesters were nothing more than slackers who don’t want to work.”

• 17 percent of respondents chose “It doesn’t matter what their protest was about. No one should be allowed to set up camp in a public park.”