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Occupy Atlanta: An inside view
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To the editor: I have been involved for almost two weeks now with Occupy Atlanta and have seen many diverse opinions. It is easy to single out a single individual and write about their views, especially if it is to make fun of them and criticize them. I am not saying everyone’s views are correct; however, they need to be taken in context.

In every large gathering, you will find a few people with extreme political views, as well as the misinformed and misled. That said, those views are spread few and far between among the American citizens who are currently partaking in the Occupy Atlanta protests. However, they tend to be rather vocal folks and the media singles them out because they create good "one-liners." Most folks down here are hard working people and students.

I frequently get asked what the protests are all about and why there are no clear demands. This question comes up most often from the media. At the moment, the simplest answer is that we are working on it. The reason for this is obvious once you actually think about it. We are a diverse group encompassing all walks of life. We are neither Republicans nor Democrats, we are the people of this country coming together to talk about the issues that we are being confronted with every day.

This is a slow process, but at least unlike our politicians we are actually talking and listening to each other. The process being utilized is called participatory democracy by most people and it is slow and sometimes painful. The first step is framing the overall issues we are trying to address. I think the overall driver of Occupy Atlanta is the current economy and the high unemployment. Yet, I have not meet anyone who is simply asking for government handouts. Most people here just want to get their government to start listening to the people and representing them again instead of just the big money corporations.



Oliver Beinlich