One of the things my dad noted as a Scoutmaster was that
tensions within the troop always tended to erupt around the 4th day
of camp. It was inevitable with the tight confines of the campsite, but it was
also temporary and would generally burn itself off by the end of the day.
Well, it’s day 4 of Occupy Baltimore, so…
It started the day before, just a few hours after I left to
write up yesterday’s field report. Reports of minor disagreements cropping up
among protesters are to be expected. Regardless of what cause they are united
under (however tenuously), people will be people. They will jostle for power
and look for leadership within what is supposed to be a “leaderless movement,”
but unlike at camp, if they don’t like what are hearing or worse feel they are
not being listened to (which is the whole point of this protest) they are more
than free to walk away.
Political differences, ideological issues, social
philosophies and purported failures of leadership all begin creeping up
–especially within a community this small – along with the petty conflicts of
personality and personal preferences. Some of this was real giving people a
chance to vent their grievances against each other (and society in general),
and some was manufactured as a way of distracting themselves from their own
Some people “stormed off” and some people wrote fiery
letters to the group’s website, but at the end of the night, the group was
still there and the movement still on. Fighting the good fight without killing
each other – or anyone else for that matter – in the process, and that’s all
that’s important here.