Saturday, October 8, 2011

Occupy the Fed in Houston Report

The storm was the least of the Fed's worries Saturday.
A group of protesters from the Occupy movement took to the streets outside the Houston branch of the Dallas Federal Reserve Saturday.  Around 250 Occupiers (Occupists?) showed up with posters, signs, megaphones and V for Vendetta masks.  They stood along Allen Parkway and exhorted passing cars to honk their support.

I attended the event with the same mindset as one does attending a carnival.  I simply had never been to a political protest before, and figured that I should add one to my list of experiences.  Martin Luther King in front of the Lincoln Memorial it was not, but it was nice to see people freely exercising their First Amendment rights.

Alex Jones yells something and people cheer
The focal point of the protest was the arrival of radio host Alex Jones, who self-identifies as a libertarian but also espouses many conspiracy theories regarding government involvement in certain events.  Jones drew much of the crowd around him in front of the Fed building and began screaming through a megaphone, which came across about as clearly as a distorted guitar.  Still, the feeling and the occasional recognizable syllable drew cheers from much of the crowd.

I'm not sure what I think about this protest.  Protests don't tend to work if they draw less than 1000 people.  I don't know that a bunch of folks screaming at cars causes social change.  I'm certainly no fan of the Fed, but I find it hard to believe that people like this guy:

...are going to cause the Fed to end.  I was thankful that I didn't see any Ben Bernanke effigies being burned (although I only stayed for about half an hour).  I guess we'll see...but it was a great day for the First Amendment.

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