Occupy Wall Street protesters may have started with the singular intention of bringing down corporate greed, but their message has long since been buried under the dirt-heap of crime.
These protests, now in dozens of cities, have become breeding grounds for rape, theft, death threats, sexual assaults, and the occasional death. It’s a rap sheet only a self-proclaimed 99-percenter could love. Here are some highlights.
Thieves in the night
The New York Post reported widespread theft in Zuccotti Park. “I had my Mac stolen — that was like $5,500,” said one protester. “Every night, something else is gone. Last night, our entire [kitchen] budget for the day was stolen, so the first thing I had to do was … get the message out to our supporters that we needed food!”
Death at Occupy NOLA
In early November, authorities found a homeless man dead in his tent at Occupy New Orleans. The county coroner reported that he died of prolonged alcohol abuse. It is suspected that the man was dead for two days before his body was found.
Teen sexual assault in Dallas
A 14-year-old runaway joined the Occupy Dallas protest and claimed she was 19. She was allegedly assaulted near the encampment, behind City Hall. She initially cooperated with authorities, but has since refused to participate in a police investigation.
But think of the children!
Los Angeles police have arrested occupiers for a range of things, including assault and possession of a deadly weapon. One suspect “faces one count of lewd conduct and one count of indecent exposure for allegedly exposing himself and masturbating in front of several people, including children,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
Episodes of public lewdness have been reported in other cities including Madison, Wisc. and Austin, Texas.
Rape in Baltimore
A woman in Baltimore told a TV news crew that she was raped and robbed while participating in an Occupy protest. She then called the protest itself a “crock” and asked the city of Baltimore to shut it down.
In response, protest leaders advised witnesses not to come forward and speak to police.
Occupy leaders in Portland instruct assault witnesses to avoid police
As if rape and sexual assault weren’t bad enough, protest leaders in Oregon are advising witnesses to refrain from talking to the police.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1BWETV75hU
Violence over marijuana goes bad
A man near the Occupy Oakland site was shot, reportedly over a bag of weed. Most media outlets reported that this shooting was unrelated to the Occupy movement, but one report confirmed that the man had in fact been sleeping in the camps.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaArvwVj8u0
Occupy the morgue
Between drugs, gunshots, and sometimes a combination of both — like in Oakland, Calif. — the Occupy death toll has reached at least eight across the country, according to one website that tracks the protest movement.
The Obama-endorsed protest might be advocating for a better world, but its rap sheet isn’t exactly the stuff hope and change are made of.