Regarding Michael Alan Goldberg’s feature about Occupy Philly’s depiction in the new book “99 Nights With the 99 Percent”:
I think the media should write whatever it wants, but I take issue with statements like “the movement thinks” or “the movement is trying to.” Dustin and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, but the fact is that many of us realize that we shouldn’t be trying to bring in people to “the movement,” especially people who do face the issues in a much more serious manner on a decades-long basis. Instead, a lot of us realize that we should be supporting the movements that already existed in these communities long before Occupy was an idea. Occupy is an outcry, not a movement, but there are a ton of things going on on a daily basis that are beneficial in helping real people. The point isn’t what we’ve accomplished, or whether a liberal reporter likes how things went. There was no predetermined outcome. It was, and it connected people who are now doing some hard work to try to make things better in a variety of ways.
NIK Z, via philadelphiaweekly.com
Overall, a great article. Thanks for the coverage. Just wanted to offer one correction. In the early days, we actually did seek out assistance from social-service agencies, but they were just as, if not more, over-taxed, under-staffed and under-funded as we were. I think, if anything, our camp highlighted the pathetic state of availability of social services in our city. I would have liked to see you interview a few more people from the group to get a more complete view. I don’t think one person can ever be relied upon to tell a complete story. As we are seeing emerging right now, the future of encampments seems to be more of a symbolic presence, small-scale groups sleeping in front of banks and small “camps” in high-profile locations.
JULIA, via philadelphiaweekly.com
Nice article. I think that the demonstration that there are people out there who still give a shit about other human beings, as the author puts it, is really the lasting effect of Occupy. That not everyone has been 100 percent brainwashed by consumerism; that there are people willing to get out of their comfort zone to have a serious discussion about things that are still a problem (and might be for years to come), that’s what will keep this going in some way or another.
JOSEPH, via philadelphiaweekly.com
Regarding Randy LoBasso’s feature on PA’s third-party candidates:
I am surprised at the lengths to which third-party candidates are discouraged in Pennsylvania. Third parties are constantly belittled and rejected all throughout the United States, but this story is almost sad to hear. This only adds to the evidence against a political system that encourages only two parties in elections. Rules such as those mentioned in the article only hamper the spirit of democracy in the United States. It is nothing less than a way to stifle dissenting opinions and other ways of thought. To add insult to injury, candidates can be made to pay legal fees to make sure they have no money left to campaign. Is a third-party candidate ever going to try to run again after their first time dealing with this? I find it ridiculous that no other state has a system like this. The requirements need to be changed to give democracy in the area a fresh voice and to lift the restrictions on dissenting opinions. Even if eliminating the requirements does not get a third-party candidate elected right away, it will at least give them a stronger voice so that they can alert the voters to their party and their cause. This much would be enough to change the stagnant landscape of American politics, with Pennsylvania leading the way.
MATT BACZEWSKI, Annville
Letters to the Editor