Occupy SLO battle leads to theft allegations

November 24, 2011


An internal battle between members of the Occupy SLO movement has lead to the filing of a theft report against four members who cleaned out the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse demonstration site.

Several Occupy SLO members opposed to the courthouse demonstration moved in on the site Wednesday night taking tents, clothing, posters and furniture while the site was largely unmanned.

In response, several supporters of the demonstration filed a report Thursday morning with the San Luis Obispo Police department claiming Occupy SLO founder Pete Evans and three others stole their belongings.

Evans said that except for a couple of “vagrants,” the camp was largely unmanned when they took it down.

“It is a transient meth camp,” Evans said. “We think they are damaging our relations with the community.

“We are not in compliance with the edict from Jim Grant (SLO County administrator) or our own policies,” Evans added. “We went down to Occupy SLO with normal people and there are derelicts hanging out.”

Supporters of the demonstration argue they are not all transients and that Evans does not have the legal right to take their belongings. Steven Boothe, a Cuesta College employee and demonstrator, said they took a canopy tent he has owned for years.

“They took down the site without communication, so others would not know,” Boothe said. “They did not have a right to take our belongings and not tell any of us where they were taking them. I am here every day.”

Evans said two officers showed up at his house earlier today. He said he told the officers he was making sure the items were kept safe. He questioned how anyone could prove who owned each item because no one had their names on their things.

“The police said it was a non-issue because I am not resisting,” Evans said. “They told me to return the stuff. I am going to take the things I have back to the courthouse and I will call and ask the others to return the stuff.”

Evans returned most of the items on Thursday afternoon.

Rifts in the Occupy SLO group started more than a month ago when several loud protestors showed up at a Mitchell Park meeting that Evans and the group’s founders organized. The new members interrupted the meeting to argue over the direction the movement should take.

At first, both camps were in favor of the courthouse occupation. But as more and more homeless arrived, several of the Occupy SLO founders wanted to disband the occupation.

After about 18 days, the occupation opponents made their first attempt to disband the camp. They removed protestors’ belongings and left notes telling them where they had taken the items.

However, this time, there were no notices left explaining who had taken down the protest site. And this time, Evans helped reconstruct the protest site.

“We got the canopies back and tables and chairs,” Boothe said. “We are basically back up and running.”

Boothe said that even though some items are still missing, he wants to have the charges dropped. However, other members of the group still want those who took their things arrested.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

One more comment for those not in the know. Much of the rhetoric below is moot, all but a few of the subject people have left since the camping was banned about a week ago. But of course some sneak back to hang out, eat free food and sometimes sleep in the one tent there. It is a shame that there is this need for many on our streets but that is not the purpose of Oslo though it could be a goal if we so choose. But we have not ever made a choice to care for the indigent. We cannot take any hits for that for if that is put on us there where is the Chamber of Commerce, Sierra Club and others in this mix? Oslo has its mission, as do all the other groups that have formed around a mission, activity or set of goals.

So those who are not trolls might focus on future issues and help grow the movement once again. It is bigger than any one of us, including the subject of this article. It is the movement that can make our world work for all of us. Even the 1% will do just fine after we win our goals of equality and social justice. It is my personal hope that the grossly evil among us will get their just desserts, in time.

And for the trolls: no, I will not be deciding who is who, or what is what. Those things will be up to others, maybe even after our lifetimes.

Lot of misunderstandings (and falsehoods) being expressed here. I can’t contend with the partisans who will not listen to any sober argument but I will try to appeal to the open minded and good-hearted folks who watch this forum.

About 8 weeks ago someone I did not know sent an email about OWS that was forwarded to me. I responded and the two of us decided to kick start an Occupyslo movement. We worked like dervishes that night and the next day and got around 100 enthusiastic marchers on Santa Rosa street, waving signs and so on. Then a series of radio shows on Congalton got our message out even more than the original email traffic. We had a few successful public events (with a broad cross section of the community). You might call us ‘founders’ or not, but that is what happened.

Shortly thereafter we called for a meeting where a number of folks signed up to help get this thing off the ground. My sinister power mad personality was thrilled to be the emperor of this new movement, for about an hour.

The crown was then handed (at my suggestion) to another person who became our spokesperson for a number of weeks. Committees were formed to do the work of the movement, coalescing folks into working groups. A steering committee was formed (I held no position on it) to help guide our activities in a positive manner.

After a General Assembly meeting about a month ago a number of our members decided to ‘occupy’ the courthouse lawn. The group as a whole did not endorse this action, but we supported it individually for about 7-10 days. Soon other folks (obvious transients and others with no connection to our community) than our occupy people began to move in, and it was obvious they were there for the ‘coolness’ of camping in town and getting free food. They brought many problems and no benefits. None. About then others and I began to raise the alarm about this influx, and some of our ‘occupiers’ were leaving because the magic was disappearing due to the new people and their lifestyles (drugs, drinking, loud and abusive talk and actions, thefts, injuries). Pretty soon we had almost 100% campers of this type and the situation was untenable. At that point the Steering Committee suggested we ‘pull out’ and disavow any connection since the site had become a homeless and transient camp, not an occupy site. And remember, we had never actually declared this as an occupy site in the first place! This was announced on the radio and at a Board of Supervisors meeting by the spokesperson. At our next GA certain members who did not like that position brought in a number of the current residents of the camp and

‘shouted down’ everyone and forced an ‘endorsement’ of the site! There was no considerate discussion, no order, only chaos and tantrums. I saw many gentle folks looking horrified and walk out, never to be seen again. This same scenario has been repeated at many meetings and we have almost no general public participation any more. We seem to be left with only the rabid ‘camp’ promoters and a few others who hang on trying to salvage something. Our marches are lucky to bring in 25 people when we should have many hundreds by now.

I say that because all the original work and progress was pretty much destroyed by the camp proponents and controversy. As far as I can tell very little progress has been made for over a month, all the energy has gone into this idiot battle and providing a soup kitchen for the camp.

Well, we were not and are not in the business of running a homeless camp or soup kitchen, which are worthy projects. But Occupy is about changing the world, and ALL the problems within it.

The other night about four of us went to the site to provide a positive presence. It was a mess, trash all over. We spent hours cleaning up (yet again, all the people who go there clean it up somewhat, the campers never do). About 10 pm there was one regular asleep in his chair and others were coming to camp, despite the county prohibition about that. Looking back on the sad place it had become (the campers NEVER engaged the public with our message-though I have been solicited for cigarettes and drugs numerous times), seeing a long holiday weekend coming and knowing that the authorities have threatened to ‘close it down’ and seeing no other community members we ‘broke camp’. We left the area spotless despite some harassment from one of the problematic campers. Our goal was to save all the equipment and supplies from seizure, theft or being trashed by the very people it was supposed to support (which is what happens). As we were leaving (about 1 am-so from about 7 pm on none of the promoters of the camp came by) we notified the police that we had ‘pulled out’. By we I mean real occupiers who had been with the local movement from the beginning. You don’t have to camp out to claim that designation.

None of the canopies or other items were labeled with names or other data. It was my intention to notify others in the movement about our action in the morning but since I was up very late that did not happen before the proponents, having heard exactly what happened and by who, seized the issue and blew it out of proportion by calling the police and reporting a theft. Pretty sad they are so desperate to resort to that but that is who they are I suppose.

Anyhoo, that is what happened in a nutshell. I guess I will respond to any literate comments here when I can. The whining dysfunctional ones I will hopefully ignore.

Pete Evans

Pete, it is not up to you to decide how, when, and most importantly who is protesting. We are the 99%, not a fraternity that picks and chooses its members based on appearance or intelligence. I hope you have returned the items to their owners.

I guess you haven’t been reading, listening or thinking. No one is choosing protestors. The simple fact is the majority or ALL the campers were not protestors, they are simply opportunists taking advantage of the situation. They looked, smelled and acted terrible. That affected how we appear to the public who we must attract. Our numbers are decreasing because of that. Your repeated assaults against this clear message indicate you are a troll, you couldn’t be this stupid. You must be a troll.

Who decided “the way things are supposed to be done around here”? I don’t have a vested interest in either side of this debacle, but the term “the way things are supposed to be done around here” is worrisome, especially in a leaderless peoples’ movement.

It is a shame that the SLO part of the Occupy movement so quickly disintegrated into sand-box slap-fights. And theft–really, what is wrong with SLO? Are the people now tainted by the horrific politics here?

How did the local part of the movement so quickly turn ugly?

I think the numbers are decreasing because of the Los-Osoization of the Occupy SLO movement.

Any type of occupation movement is going to attract homeless people and crime. Making snippy comments about how they smell isn’t going to help solve the problem, either.

“My sinister power mad personality was thrilled to be the emperor of this new movement, for about an hour.”

I love it. well said. You gave it your best shot. My hat is off to you!

Some people get it some never will.

Anyone who does not bow to the power and the glory of emperor Evans will simply be dismissed as “vagrants, derelicts, and dysfunctional whiners” who are not REAL “occupy” participants – but rather are just there to set-up a “transient meth camp.”

Ever since that one glorious week (give or take) that “occupy SLO” had in the spotlight, all Evans seems to be doing is damage control. Is 7-10 days of actual “protest” and six weeks of damage control REALLY called a “success?”

It seems that the original message of “OWS” (if there really ever was one) was “we are the 99%.” But here in SLO it seems Pete Evans is always quick to point out that “he is the original 99%.” Maybe next week he will have the name “Occupy SLO” trademarked.

Maybe in SLO we should declare that all of those who Pete Evans agrees with are the “98%.” Then there are the 1% rich and wealthy, and then 1% drug addicted, homless, and otherwise unwashed.

I really think it’s time that Evans move on some to other cause that will look good on his resume, because this one is a mess. Sorry to offend those of you who still can still see “Pete Evans new clothes.”

Perhaps Pete will consider dusting off and restaring some “Tea Party” rallies here locally. I don’t remember any of those turning into hobo jungles in the first 7-10 days.

Besides, if you agree to keep resonable protesting hours of 7am-10pm, you are no longer “occupying.” Perhaps Evans should change the name of HIS movement to “comply SLO.” Nice try Pete, but your 15 seconds are over.

Have a good time getting your rocks off making fun of sincere people? The subject of this story and his allies won’t respond to your lunacy but I will. I’m a known sucker for trolls and fools. You castigate someone you could never match.

Why don’t you try writing a legit piece that makes some sense instead of your childish rantings? I figure you never went to the camp and hung out with the campers there, so you don’t know anything. Or perhaps you are one of them and were told to flip out here for our benefit. You say lots of things you probably know nothing about and inflate or deflate issues to suit your twisted outlook.

But like the dumb college kid you have failed to consider the facts. The site was abandoned, the group that took down the two canopies were official (aka real, original) occupiers. They were there for five hours and no one came by. The two canopies and contents were occupy materials. There was no theft, and as I understand it none of the materials (other than the canopies) have been personally claimed by anyone, just vague charges that ‘this and that’ were here. Almost all the stuff was donated (so owned by all the occupy members meaning any member might move one or more items at will). The whole shebang could have been raided by the cops and confiscated so this was a rescue, not a theft. That is why no arrests were made. I’ve been to the current site, other than the canopies I wouldn’t give you $20 for all the shoddy contents.

You clearly have a grudge and are flapping your gums to exercise that. So be it, but anyone with a brain can see through you.

Thanks for the synopsis of the local movement. First off, I admire anyone who’s willing to spend time and energy on something he/she believes in. I also commend those who want to protest civilly and not destroy the property of others, even the taxpayers. There will always be an element that is counterproductive to any movement, ie Tea Partiers who had bigoted signs, Vietnam protesters who attacked the soldiers, etc. My preference on this movement was to move my savings from a big bank and write my representatives…….and, of course, eventually vote for who i think represents those interests best.

But, just my 2 cents worth, I think the “Occupy” part of this movement set an aggressive, anti-property respect position from the onset.

Occupying a site is the defining tactic of the Occupy movement. To say the “Occupy part of the movement” is saying “the whole movement.”

It’s like saying “I think the Whole Foods store is great except for the part where they make you pay for the items you take away from the store for your own use or consumption.”

It’s a STORE, for heaven’s sake. Paying for what you take away from the store is what a store is all about.

Just like the Occupy movement is an OCCUPATION movement…occupying a site is what defines the movement. It’s not a PART of it.

Hi Pete, hi everyone:

Of course, I won’t deny we have had problems with many of the homeless that have come to the courthouse site. But, it would be unfair to say it has been all of them, or that none of them have contributed any benefit. Additionally, let’s not forget that problems are not solely restricted to being an attribute of a “homeless” person, Pete and some of his friends have brought their fair share of problems as well. One of Pete’s friends in particular frequently came down in the first weeks we were at the courthouse to smoke marijuana (claiming he had a prescription) — how was that supposed to be helpful? We could only surmise this was his attempt to use the smell to undermine our positive perception by the public, and yet this was a guy who helped us setup down there the first night, and was one of the early promoters of the zero-tolerance drug policy. He just seemed to lose his composer when homeless people began to show up and blowing marijuana smoke around was his way of “acting out” (we have tons of pictures) presumably to instigate a shutdown of our efforts when he didn’t like the way it was going. Interestingly, this same individual was also one of the “four” people Pete mentioned who personally helped him “break camp” and haul our stuff to Pete’s house a few nights ago (we have lots of pictures of this too).

But Pete brought problems too. Just read through his post and note the frequent use of condemning assumptions with phrases like “no connection to our community”, and “they brought many problems and no benefits. None.” which are considerably problematic as they slander the good that we (who have been at the courthouse regularly) have witnessed and contributed. His writing is peppered with this kind of language and this is really unfortunate, because Pete has some valid concerns which I share, but because they are couched in such vitriolic language, he gets perceived as mean-spirited and this short-circuits our efforts toward civil dialog, which further disrupts our ability to be productive and make necessary decisions too. So our problems are not just with the “homeless” (which no one has witnessed using or discussing the use of meth by the way). I also need to be fair and point out that Pete is by no means the only person who has brought these kinds of problems. We have had numerous NON-homeless people who have negatively influenced our efforts to make progress due to short tempers and overly reactive negative gestures, which have been just as harmful to our efforts as anything we have had to deal with down at the courthouse.

Fair use of language is hugely important. It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and thus it can be used to harm or heal. Case in point, a number of us met last week in which Pete attended and listened as we described and introduced a number of homeless who have been contributing significant positive value to our efforts down at the courthouse. Yet after all of that Pete still could not find a way to leave room for them in his descriptions of the situation at the courthouse in this last post. Are we “winning”? Maybe not right now, and we should have a conversation about that, but to use language over and over that there is simply no good, and that it has become a “transient meth camp” (when no evidence of meth has ever been seen), is not only false and hurtful to those who have contributed in good faith, but it undermines Pete’s opportunity to be heard by those who I really believe he wishes would listen.

P.S. For the record, I called the police because not because I was “desperate” (language again) but because I saw no evidence of good faith left behind to indicate a more positive course of action. Additionally, I find it odd that this action which basically razed our kiosk to the ground without any trace, warning or notice was taken to quote “clean up the site” when right on our website calendar you could see we had a Thanksgiving “Orphans Dinner” planned for that afternoon at 4pm. If this was a just an action to “clean up”, there sure seemed to be a huge lack of consideration for those plans that were on the calendar. That written, once Pete and his friend showed up with our stuff, and most importantly Pete apologized for the lack of communication and made a good faith effort to help us put the canopies back up, I was grateful to drop the charges, forgive, and get on with hosting a dinner among folks from around the community.

Now today is Small Business Saturday (https://www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday) so after our small meeting at the courthouse, I hope to personally head over to HumanKind on Monterey, Bamboo Batu, San Luis Art Supply, and hopefully Farmer’s Market in Morro Bay from 3-6pm.

Peace, love and buy local,

Steven Boothe

Have you considered the possibility that those soliciting you for drugs may actually be law enforcement?

That’s an interesting thought but I personally haven’t heard of one instance of anyone soliciting for drugs down there so…

Slojourner is jaded and inaccurate. Despite what he says there were two official ‘founders’ and they claim no fame or credit other than stating the truth.

In the beginning there were massive turnouts for marches and meetings; since the courthouse gig became a troublesome nuisance to the movement and our town Evans and others began to question its viability. Others, thinking thumbing their noses at our town and local authorities (who we have no issue with) decided to import a large number of tantrum throwing transients to the meetings, damaging any progress on the issues before us. That disrupted all our efforts to engage the public in this vital movement. The end result is a crummy ‘public face’ at the camp populated by a large number of transients and others with no interest in the movement or conducting themselves in a manner consistent with the law and the sensibilities of our community.

Everyone deserves a place to live, food to eat and shelter from the elements. But Oslo is not charged with running a homeless camp or serving the needs of the mostly mentally challenged that have been attracted to the camp. After its initial week (not began by the Oslo group but definitely supported by them) it degenerated to a homeless camp and soup kitchen. Our meetings became chaos; our marches had decimated participation because many in the community could not support the dysfunctional group we seemed to have become.

Why did this happen, why did some of the community support the camp, soup kitchen and chaotic ramblings of the campers? It was fun for them, gave them a power kick. The folks who brought food were largely driven by maternal instincts. Most of the inspiration for the support was ‘something to do’ and self interest to satisfy some lack in their lives (If they are so into helping why not actually help-at the homeless shelter?). Neither they nor the campers have advanced the movement here-in fact they have decreased it. That is the whole issue at hand. The break off group that demanded power by importing unkempt and uncaring elements have done the bidding of the 1% perfectly, causing the group here to accomplish nothing in over a month and actually driving away well intentioned community members who are the real 99%.

That is how I and many I know see the situation. Whining about ‘power trips’ by some of the early creators is just a fallacious jab. I do not recall Evans or the other founder ever desiring or holding a position of ‘leadership’ in the group. All they did was to empower others to join them in a mass movement; as part of that movement I saw every step. Those who came later are the ones who have claimed power and cling to it like mad.

If Evans, or anyone, thinks it is up to them to determine who can and cannot protest, they are on a power trip.

I guess you are responding to my post, since you did. You must not know anything about the camp or this controversy, which is typical of many of us at times.

Your comment is actually accurate, but in this context way off. I have been to the camp a number of times, its a mess. None of the campers ever does anything political, they are just hanging out. Even most of the community people are just there bustling about kissing ass to the campers, they too do little to talk to the people passing by. I have never seen anyone reading anything to get informed,

never heard any political talk (other than some very dirty nutcase mumbling about Ron Paul).

So, I hope the reader gets it: the folks living on our courthouse plaza are not protesting anything other than the high cost of illegal drugs. They are just hanging out, that is my whole point.

Perhaps slojourner is one of the few people in town who frequents the camp. If so why is it always a pig sty-do you allow that? Do you encourage that? Do you do anything about that?

I heard in one of our meetings that if the group is so enthralled with the homeless people we have collected there why don’t they take them home? No one offered a thing…

I am a Poly student on break visiting my parents now. I haven’t been by the courthouse in about 10 days, but the state of the camp had been fairly consistent for a few weeks; I can imagine what it is like. To say that “the folks living on our courthouse plaza are not protesting anything other than the high cost of illegal drugs,” is a gross misstatement. While most of the people camping cannot articulate their grievances as well I had hoped, all but a few know why they are there. They recognize the system has betrayed them and are making a political statement with their presence.

Despite being a committed libertarian, the Ron Paul guy you refer to as a “dirty nutcase” is actually very intelligent. Prior to joining OccupySLO, he was going to school and living with his parents in Wisconsin. He was visiting friends in California when Occupy Wall Street began and was moved to join. His dirty appearance is due solely to the fact that he has been living outside for over a month. The dirty physical appearance of the encampment and protesters does not bother me. They are protesting against an economic system that governs society. This society, and the 1% of people it benefits, decide what is considered normal behavior. That is why you see drug use and the appearance of apathy at the occupations. These elements, too, are part of the protest. In the 1960’s, similar criticisms were leveled against Vietnam protesters. Today, history looks fondly upon them as the beginning of the “counter-culture.”

Well there are a number of people that do care. We want the Occupy movement to be taken seriously. If people are defecating in public spaces, taking drugs, violent etc. then it makes the movement look bad. Pete was at the forefront of the SLO Occupy, I’m not saying that for your sake because either you don’t know or you are just trying to make Pete look bad so I am only saying this so others understand the other side from someone that was at the first rally.

How Occupy SLO began shouldn’t be relevant. The only reason it is now important is that Pete uses his involvement to claim he is “co-founder.” Pete feels this gives him authority over the actions of protesters, and homeless people who are PROTESTING by living at Occupy SLO.

My story of the beginning of Occupy SLO differs from other accounts, perhaps I am mistaken. I was at the first rally too! I was one of the few students present. Prior to attending the rally, I had been googling “occupy slo” and “occupy san luis obispo” in hopes there was something in the works. There was an internet post on Craigslist trying to get something organized. I think this post was made by Desiree. I kept googling, and on October 5th at about 5PM, an article appeared announcing a rally that day starting at 5. I live near the courthouse, so I was able to walk and arrived shortly thereafter. At the first General Assembly, I spoke with a soft-spoken gentlemen who told me he had sent out an email calling for the Occupy SLO rally. I don’t know this man’s name, but I do know that he was present at our protest against the Keystone XL pipeline at Cal Poly. He used an email list he already had from previous protests. He said he was surprised by the large turnout, so maybe Pete sent out an email as well. But all of us present at the first meeting are “co-founders.” It is meaningless. His use of the title implies a hierarchy that the horizontal Occupy Wall Street Movement is against.

Hi there, your concern is also appreciated and shared by those who have been occupying down at the courthouse.

The few incidents (3?) of human defecation/urination were unfortunate but it should also be noted that it was also one of the occupiers who responded to clean up the feces in both incidents I know of. Additionally, the perpetrator of the last unfortunate incident has not been seen in nearly two weeks since that last incident. As far as the urination goes, I can report of at least two occasions where one of the “homeless” occupiers notified me of having intervened to stop that from happening. One incident was someone who wondered from the bus-stop area who had nothing to do with our occupation, and the other was the same perpetrator of the defecation who has since been ran off two weeks ago.

As for the “taking drugs”, we did have some marijuana and alcohol being being consumed inside the tents from time to time, but again that was earlier on, the incidents were few, and we have eradicated use of tents as part of our occupation.

Finally, there was one incident of a physically violent nature during the first week, long since past history. We have had some social/verbal/written issues but nothing we aren’t able to deal with.

So that’s what I can report as someone who has made it a point to be there so I could accurately be aware of what’s going on.

Best regards,


So, the self appointed “economist” Anarchist Andy, is not from Boston after all. What a surprise !

His dirty appearance is because he is dirty. His seeming instability and violent behaviors is because he is mentally unbalanced.

Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin of the ’60s were opportunistic jerks, too. They got the attention , while the hard workers like David Dellinger had to put up with their carp.

I beg to differ. Several of the Yippies (Aron Kay, John Penley) are friends of mine, and to this day they are working hard for good causes, providing leadership to OWS New York as well as participating in the every day protest grind.

Since Al Gore never said he invented the internet, your argument is invalid because your comparison failed.

How close to the courthouse are the nearest public showering facilities?

Pete officially ‘co-founded’ Occupy SLO… by the same logic, Columbus officially ‘discovered’ America, regardless of who occupied the land first. Pete Evans is nothing but the grinch who stole Occupy. He doesn’t understand consensus-based decision-making. During a General Assembly, the scuzz bag even rushed up threateningly towards a woman in her young 20s. Another guy had to jump in to keep her from getting assaulted. Just cuz things don’t go Pete’s way, Pete thinks he can destroy the cause. But just like whoville and its missing gifts, the occupy sings without tents, they sing with canopies…. Christmas is coming, Pete… Maybe your heart can grow and you can rejoin the occupiers in harmony. That’s what the movement is all about anyway isnt it?

I was at that meeting and you left out oodles of info, figures. Another troll on the site. The movement

has been hounded by these types from the beginning and we will have to cope throughout our quest for sanity in this world. Comments like this are just some of the challenges we face in righting the many wrongs. I wonder how long it will take you to figure out which side you are on, ours or the 1%? So far you have chosen the latter. Do you know what ‘latter’ means? I don’t want to confuse you.

I really don’t think this anarchist model works.

Take a look at the new york protests, and all the animosity generated when they got the $500k grant, and they argue now about how to use the money. Link is below.


Think about other movements in the past that may have started out as collectives: french revolution, maybe, russian, maybe…but they always end up with a leader. I cannot think of any leaderless movements that have succeeded in history. This is dumb to go against what has been proven true in history. Not even Gandhi’s movement was leaderless.

Leadership is crucial to a movement. I think the reason this occupy wall street is going nowhere is that they resist the model that allows there to be leaders. It becomes hard to get anything done, and there is no clear cut path.

To me it is a shame what occupy wall street has become. Their central idea is right. Wall street and large corporations run the county and don’t care about us. They are willing to impoverish us to make more money. The movement hasn’t had clear thinking, clear direction, and clear leadership. It is just an amorphous mass just sitting there attracting many of the worst elements in society.

Pete Evans was right, but he doesn’t belong in the occupy wall street movement. That movement is destined to go nowhere, or if it does succeed, God help us all.

“This is dumb to go against what has been proven true in history.”

Movements challenging the economic system from the left have never succeeded in the history of the United States. If they had, there wouldn’t be a need for Occupy Wall Street. We can learn from past movements, but we are venturing into uncharted territory. I think that having leaders provides the GOP and Wall Street with a target they can demonize. As it currently stands, they are confused. They have no individuals to attack, so they must attack the group as a whole. They are left with attacking protesters appearance or criticizing them for being unemployed while simultaneously criticizing the President for the lack of jobs. If my memory serves me correctly, leaders emerged in the French Revolution rather late and Napoleon was able to manipulate the situation. Occupy Wall Street is far from this danger. Unlike the Bolsheviks, occupiers are mostly committed to democracy. We aren’t necessarily interested in emulating their methods. The struggle to free India from colonialism is a bit more analogous, except that the enemy was much easier to define. If the British attempted to demonize Gandhi, he could use that criticism to rally support of Indians against colonialism. Because most Americans don’t understand the problems with the economic system, (the enemies aren’t foreigners,) leaders wouldn’t be able to turn attacks into broader appeal for the movement. As soon as an election was lost, it would be the end of the movement and the 1% would continue their dominance over the economy and government. At least until closer to 99% of the population is on board an election can be won.

What would a leader even do? Sellout to corporations like Obama? Get trounced in an election?

Leadership evolves over time.

I don’t think leadership is “crucial” to the Occupy movement, especially at this point, because it is a different model of organization. Those who can only see as valid what others have done before are having difficulty dealing with the Occupy model.

The corporatists, through their politician puppets and media hacks, desperately want to get a handle on the Occupy movement so they can tear it apart by their typical filth tactics. It is the media that keeps whining for a leader for the Occupy movement. Part of it is because their corporate masters order them to do so, but part of it is because they, too, do not understand the Occupy model of organization.

The needs of the corporate-bought media should not be the 99%-ers priority. We don’t need to get behind the corporate-bought media and eagerly jump when the corporatists snap their fingers, just like the media hacks do now.

There is no need for a leader now. Both the “need” and the urgency for getting a leader is false, made up by those who wish to destroy the Occupy movement.

Patience. Let the Occupy movement evolve as it has to deal with problems that come up. When the Occupy movement decides it needs a leader, they will get a leader. There is no timeline for anything in the movement to occur, except for the false one attempting to be imposed by the corporatists and their media hacks.

Occupy SLO is essentially leaderless, even though some try to lead it.

Look what has happened.

Leaderless organizations are neat in theory, much like communism, but in practice, I don’t see it working. Look at them….bickering, destroying the movement from within, and going nowhere. That is what you get with no leader.

Sounds like Petey wants to take his toys & go home.


They’re not his toys.

The County and County employees are not the enemy. Wrong venue for an occupation..

The multi-national corporations…with no loyalty or allegiance to America, or even the concept of democratic free rule: THEY are the enemy !

The huge, money-center banks that treat people like commodities and write-offs: THEY are the enemy!

These are the CRIMINAL enterprises that the rest of us have to put OUT of business and then outlaw. Those that profit from illegal usury or gamed loan sharking should be put into prison, exiled, …or more extreme measures.

Yes, agree. They should be protesting in bank parking lots. A movable tent city that alternates between banks. They should also start doing some nonviolent troublemaking against the banks…ala Abbie Hoffman. Tactics that make it difficult or impossible for them to operate in the county.

The banks would not have been able to do what they did if they did not have the eager help of our government and its elected politicians every step of the way.

The city and county governments of SLO SHOULD be inconvenienced by the occupation. They have both wasted taxpayer money on BS that financially benefits their relatives and pals. Every political scandal and corruption outrage that has occurred in SLO has occurred because the local governments’ officials and administrators either facilitated it or did nothing to stop it.

This isn’t just about the banks. The 99%-1% inequality of wealth problem isn’t just due to the banks. Certainly, our government played an important role. It does nothing to protest the banks if the government that allowed the banks to screw us over is not held accountable.

1. Who are you to decide it is the “wrong venue for an occupation”?

It’s an OCCUPATION by a PROTEST MOVEMENT. Dontcha think it is a little absurd to criticize an occupation protest movement for not saying “mother, may I?” before they decided the location of the occupation site?

2. In my opinion, our government is the problem, including local area governments like SLO city and county. It is our government that has allowed and, indeed, passed rules, regulations and laws to assist the 99%-ers in their nonstop looting of taxpayer funds.

Just review the last year’s of titles of news articles here at CCN and see the amount of corruption, pilfering of the taxpayer funds, while cutting government services to the citizens/taxpayers.

As a group, our local pi$$-pot kings and queens in government are working to keep the 1% groveling at the feet of the rulers. Even if each county supervisor or city council member is not actively involved in corruption, conflicts of interest and graft, those who know about it remain silent and, indeed, mostly help in the coverup.

Why not? Isn’t the courthouse the center of where justice is sought? My take on that is that the courthouse is a valuable location as both a symbol and a center for the community petitioning for justice. We start our marches there every Saturday at noon and march downtown to let the big banks and large multi-national corporate interests know of our displeasure.

If it isn’t public notoriety, I don’t understand Pete Evans’ motivations for attempting to co-opt Occupy SLO. Frankly, I don’t understand why he got involved in the first place. From the very beginning, he didn’t understand the point of the movement. At a meeting I was present at, he was talking about how great the Dollar Tree is for buying protesting supplies.(We are trying to buy locally.) When I questioned his support of the very corporations we are protesting, he dismissed the criticism. Next, he began sending hate filled emails about the homeless and fellow members of the 99%. He obviously doesn’t understand or agree with Occupy Wall Street’s commitment to universal protection. He calls the homeless “vagrants,” “derelicts,” and other dehumanizing terms. For the record, if meth use occurred at the occupation, I never saw it in my many hours there.

Occupy SLO made a few crucial mistakes at the very beginning that are proving very costly. They did not follow Occupy Wall Street’s lead in creating a leaderless, anarchist model. Instead, leaders were self-appointed. Committees were made up of centrists and elderly that had no intention of occupying. Feeling control and power slipping from them to students and others outside the courthouse, the steering committee announced they were “removing support” from the occupation. Those actually protesting felt betrayed. At the next general assembly, we voiced our opinion. Most were convinced, but Pete Evans continues to describe our actions as a “disruption” to the media that insists on interviewing him. Now, his rhetoric has escalated into the first violent action committed by members of Occupy SLO. It is fitting that violence came not from the “derelicts” but from Pete himself. It is a shame it came to this. I wish I had taken a stand against him. I saw it coming.

Oh baloney! Things were fine when, in the beginning when hundreds showed up to protest the economic pirates and the criminals among the 1% that are the real culprits of our travails.

Then, the movement got hijacked by interlopers and outsiders, in order to ‘infiltrate and humiliate’….which are their marching orders.

…And they did it.

The OWS movement was never anarchist driven. It wasn’t supposed to be. Yes, there are those 1% among the 99% that think chaos and disruption are ‘fun’. The same kind of lazy party types that spend all their efforts cursing the darkness and never lighting a candle. . The ones that made the G20 summit in Seattle a few years back an example of their bad behaviors, and not the focus on the concentration of wealth at the top …the exact opposite of what should have been.

Pete Evans was and is correct, and “you” will never accept being part of the problem, and doing the very negative behaviors that the 1% condition you to do to further their agenda.

“The OWS movement was never anarchist driven. It wasn’t supposed to be

David Graeber is self described anarchist and seminal organizer of OWS.

You misunderstood my use of the term anarchism. You are correct in that OWS is not about a violent anarchist overthrow. If it was, it certainly would not gain the vast following it has.

However in New York and LA, the movement is governed by the anarchist principles of being democratic and leaderless. Every person willing to donate time and occupy is welcomed and given a say. On important decisions, they strive for consensus. In SLO, from the very beginning, it was hierarchical and exclusionary. OWS has taken a lot of criticism for sticking to their model. It is slow moving and lacks prominent figures to rally behind. What happened in SLO is evidence the model is necessary. Armed with made up meaningless titles, in a manner similar to the pepper-spraying and baton wielding police in Davis and Berkeley, Evans and a few others attempted to use “authority” to control how people exercise their right to protest.

Evans is lying when he describes himself as the co-founder. Occupy SLO started with multiple people calling for a protest on the internet and sending email. There was no founder. As far as I remember, he wasn’t even around during the first protest on October 5th.

“Pete Evans was and is correct, and “you” will never accept being part of the problem, and doing the very negative behaviors that the 1% condition you to do to further their agenda.”

Can you elaborate? Obviously, I don’t think my participation (or student participation anywhere) in the Occupy Movement is conditioned by or furthers the 1% agenda. If it was, they wouldn’t be trying so hard to silence us.

Yes, Evens was there and so was I. He absolutely was one of the first organizers. I might have the name wrong but there was Pete Evens and and another guy, I believe his name was ‘Mike’, but I might be wrong on Mike’s name and they were running the show. I was at the first protest and Pete Evens gave me a sign to carry. He seemed very busy getting everything in order. They say that there’s no leaders but any group like this needs people like Evens that take the ball and roll with it and get people together and he certainly did that right from the start and if you say otherwise then you are mistaken.

I am very busy so I missed a few demonstrations. Then when I went back to the courthouse to join the protest again I just kept walking. It’s not good to have people down there that make the movement look bad. When the Tea Baggers had kooks at their demonstrations that held up signs depicting Obama as a witch doctor or as Hitler or when the racist birthers started blathering on with their nonesense, the baggers didn’t come out and publicly denounce those people so IMO it made the whole movement look bad. I’m glad that the Occupiers are trying to distance themselves and denounce the ones that are going to sidetrack and make the movement look bad. I want them to to be taken seriously, not like a bunch of junkies, violent, crazy bums just there for the free handouts.

“Occupiers are trying to distance themselves and denounce the ones that are going to sidetrack and make the movement look bad.”

A new thought maybe these trolls have been hired by the 1% !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Divide and concor!

Sounds like a lot of them were homeless people looking for a handout more than really caring about the Occupy movement. Not saying that all homeless people are bums or bad people but like all walks of life they have their fair share of bums/bad people and those bums found themselves at the courthouse with free food and money.

Exactly my point!

A homeless person looking for a handout and a dedicated Occupy movement participant are not mutually exclusional categories of people.

If we turn up our noses at homeless people participating in the movement, I don’t think the movement will be very successful.

There are many, many newly homeless people, including entire families, thanks to the economic self-serving abuse of power of Clinton, Bush and Obama. Some are probably very highly skilled, and their skills and experience may become important to the movement in the future.

Of course, there may be people drawn to the Occupy sites who aren’t interested in participating in the movement, but are drawn there because of access to a wide variety of things, including victims for crimes. That is a problem that will need to be figured out.

As I said, not all homeless people are simple bums, they have their good and bad. Unfortunately the more derelict of the homeless population have taken over. From what I’ve read they are defecating on the lawns and basicly there for the free handouts. In that case they are making the movement look bad. The right wing media are doing their best to make the movement look like a bunch kooks so they need to distance and denounce these people. It’s fine to have different sides and different personalities but if they want to be taken seriously then they need to distance themselves from the junkies, drunks and trouble makers.

Wow, sloj is really over the top here. I hope no one is taking his comments seriously, he at least wrong, or lying. All that tripe about Evans ( and others?) taking over and denying input from others, beyond belief! Of course this note was written before we got the accurate history above but in any event I was at most events and aware of much of what happened throughout this saga. There was NO movement here before Evans and another person took it on, Evans was at the Oct 5 event (having organized it!) and as stated above held a position of authority for one hour and then relinquished it to another. ‘Made up meaningless titles’, god, what junk. As I said above, you can’t be that stupid so you must be a troll. Hope the money you get for betraying all of us is worth it.

I say “BALONEY” again. Anyone that tries to suggest that ‘anarchy’, or ‘anarchism’ does not impart, impugn, or interpret the idea of violent overthrow of existing government…often by terrorist means such as indiscriminate bomb-throwing, is really too stupid beyond measure to engage in a cogent dialogue.

You are a phony and a liar.

The first “protest” of support for OWS was held on September 29 at Farmer’s Market. One lone and silent marcher carrying a sign with http://www.occupywallst.org on one side and

TAX the RICH on the other side.

How do I know this ? Guess.

Oh, I have witnesses. So don’t give me this false narrative.

I marched with Gene McCarthy, Bobby K, Dick Gregory, Jesse Jackson, Studs Terkel, Bella Abzug, Gaylord Nelson, Ron Kovic, Greg Palast, Bobby K Jr. Jim Hightower, John Conyers, Randy Shilts…and so many more.

But I do not qualify myself or my actions to a low-life parasite, ever.

You silence yourself by your own anti-social behaviors.

What reasonable and decent person would desire to have ANYTHING to do with the likes of you ?

The corruption of the word ‘sojouner’ ( ala Sojourner Truth ) is enough to dissuade me of your plausible rectitude.

Slowerfaster is acting like a scumbag. I am not a liar. Everything I have written here has been truthful. Attacking my character is way off base.

Back to anarchsim. Slowerfaster says “anyone that tries to suggest that ‘anarchy’, or ‘anarchism’ does not impart, impugn, or interpret the idea of violent overthrow of existing government…often by terrorist means such as indiscriminate bomb-throwing, is really too stupid beyond measure to engage in a cogent dialogue.” He is wrong, but I don’t blame him. This is a common misconception because the corporate media loves to link the terms together. There is nothing about anarchist philosophy that implies violence. In theory, an anarchist society would be free of violence.

It is hypocritical, but violence is a method sometimes employed by anarchists attempting to overthrow capitalism, or just wreak havoc in general. This happened at Occupy Oakland a few weeks ago, when a group of about 60 anarchists broke away from the main march and began using black bloc methods of protest. However, most anarchists are committed to nonviolence and hope the revolution will be democratic. This is why Occupy Wall Street was started in the first place! For those who don’t know, Occupy Wall Street is the brainchild of AdBusters, an anti-capitalism magazine with anarchist leanings.(Their authors are often self-described anarchists) AdBusters put out the call to occupy wall street in hopes of sparking a nonviolent revolution.

I would like to point out that AdBusters merely tapped into several groups of people that were already organizing for participation in or support of protests and general strikes. They did not lay the ground work. One group I helped put together had over 3,000 people when they came along and a huge percentage are now involved with OWS.

Otherwise, I agree with your points on Anarchy.

I think the fact that it is so hard to decipher who started the Occupy movement, both in SLO and Wall Street, illustrates just how grassroots it is. However, there is no doubt that AdBusters initially came up with idea.


They are good with branding. If by idea you mean “Occupy Wall Street” yes, but if by idea you mean creating a worldwide string of protests, there have been a lot of people involved long before then. Lots of people did their part, I hate to see any group get “credit.” Check out the group Global Strike 2011 on Facebook, it’s been around a couple years, and its members form the core of many of the occupy groups.

And so spawns a new society. Complete with rifts, differences,and accusations…

So the upper 99%ers are robbing the lower 99%ers?

Just like Animal Farm — all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others?

1 2 3 4