Rochester Occupy Gets Conservative’s Support

Chris Edes, who describes himself as a Rochester Tea Party leader, has issued a press release attacking the mayor of Rochester for arresting Occupy Rochester protestors. Reading the release I was surprised at the tone and had to send him a few choice words..

Here’s his press release:

“Rochester Tea Party leader demands end to Occupy Rochester arrests

“Free & Equal would like to share with you the following press release issued on Wednesday, October 30 by Rochester, NY Tea Party leader & Free & Equal New York Caucus Leader Chris Edes. The press release is copied in its entirety, and the original may be found here.

“Rochester Tea Party leader Chris Edes issued a formal statement today, demanding Mayor Richards cease arresting Occupy Rochester protesters immediately.

“If we allow Mayor Richards to violate the First Amendment rights of the Occupy Rochester protesters, what is to prevent him from doing it to the Tea Party?” said Edes.

“The purpose of the law requiring city parks to close at 11pm is to deter crime. When dealing with First Amendment issues, the government must use the least restrictive means possible to achieve their goals. Requiring everyone to leave is clearly not the least restrictive means, even if the Mayor could point to specific instances of crime, which so far he has not. Mayor Richards’ actions are unconstitutional and if necessary, he will be held accountable in a court of law.”

“Edes also noted that the Tea Party shares some common goals with the Occupy Wall Street movement. “It is the Federal Reserve, along with the banks and investment firms, and their lackeys in government, which created our economic crisis. This is becoming increasingly obvious to Americans of all political persuasions. It is shameful that Mayor Richards believes he can stifle the peaceful expression of outrage over this fact.”

“Edes plans to join this afternoon’s march on City Hall, demanding that Richards cease his unlawful activity.”

Here’s what I wrote to Edes:

Chris:

While I applaud your going to bat for the free speech rights of the Rochester protesters, the tone of your release disturbs me.

I’m sure the Mayor Richards believes the protesters are breaking the law. Isn’t it his job to see that public safety is upheld? So isn’t what you have a difference of opinion? To call his actions unconstitutional and unlawful seems more than a bit overboard.

I’m also disturbed by your statement “It is the Federal Reserve, along with the banks and investment firms, and their lackeys in government, which created our economic crisis.”

Hundreds of people have spent hours analyzing the crisis, many with access to much more information than you have available, and there still is no concensus on exactly what went wrong or how to fix things. Just listen to the candidates for the GOP nomination for President to see how people in the same party can disagree on these issues. So to state so categorically something to be the case which is just your opinion seems reckless on your part. Further to say use the word lackeys with reference to the entire governmental structure makes you look foolish. It’s easy to reduce complex matters to such terms, but doing so belongs more to the tradition of demagogues than to citizens of a democracy.

If you seek public support for your positions, I recommend that you think them through a little more carefully. Recognize that the tone of what you say can undermine your desired result. It certainly did for me.

Peter Pollak,
Publisher & Editor
The Empire Page

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