Last night I argued that camping out in government parks in the city (where overnight camping is always illegal) is not a First Amendment right.
This morning, I point out that the Occupy Denver movement stole services from Xcel Energy, destroyed property, and cost taxpayers untold thousands of dollars.
9News reports, “Officials say the protesters tapped into the electricity of park structures (like lighting fixtures, etc.) to run their equipment. Xcel is repairing the damage the protesters caused, structure by structure.” Those costs get passed along to other energy customers. What, do the rest of us also get to steal services so long as we’re protesting something? Hey, A-Basin is open; maybe I can just hop on the ski lift without paying if I wear a political shirt.
I have not seen a figure for how many state patrol and Denver city officers were involved in the night’s activities — no doubt scores at least. So how much will tax payers in the region end up coughing up to cover these costs? Who’s going to calculate that tab?
And then there are the dump trucks required to clean up the mess. The Denver Post reports, “Dump trucks were brought in for tents and other trash that authorities picked up and threw away.” Dump trucks, as in plural? How much did that cost taxpayers?
I recognize the long and noble history of civil disobedience. Think about Rosa Parks, Gandhi, and those who refused to obey the Fugitive Slave Act. Today’s Tea Party gets its name from an act of civil disobedience. Strategic civil disobedience in the name of a great cause to advance individual rights is a sacred thing.
But the Denver Occupiers do not belong in the same company. They have no noble cause, nor even a coherent message. Instead, they’re stealing, destroying, and looting the taxpayers as a cause unto itself. Call it the Narcissist Invasion.