Occupy Wall Street Losing Local Support, Some Residents Say
Early September, it started with 100 to 200 overnight protesters. Within a matter of weeks, the Occupiers gained the support of thousands lending more credibility to the movement. And by early October, up to an estimated 15,000 marchers join in the cause of Occupy Wall Street with sister movements in major cities across the U.S.
Even as earlier as this week, there were reports religious leaders would be joining forces with the protestors. And though this all bodes well for the message of the group, the rapid growth of the movement has left many of those whom it represents, burdened.
Stacey Tzortzatos, the owner of a Lower Manhattan restaurant, Panini and Company Cafe, says she has been forced to install locks on her bathrooms because protestors were destroying the facilities, reported the New York Times.
"I'm looked at as the enemy of the people," Tazortzatos said to the Times.
Other restauranteurs in the area agree with Tazortzatos and are upset an organized group did not have plans to include portable toilets.
From the New York Times:
Several businesses said they had no choice but to respond to the influx of protesters by closing bathrooms.
Mike Keane, who owns O’Hara’s Restaurant and Pub, said that the theft of soap and toilet paper had soared and that one protester had used the bathroom but had failed to properly use the toilet. Both Ms. Tzortzatos, owner of the Panini and Company Cafe, and Mr. Keane said the protesters rarely bought anything, yet hurled curses when they were told that only paying customers could use their bathrooms.
Steve Zamfotis, manager of another nearby store, Steve’s Pizza, said: “They are pests. They go to the bathroom and don’t even buy a cup of coffee.”
Mr. Zamfotis closed his bathroom after it repeatedly flooded from protesters’ bathing there.
Residents in the area have also shown concerns.
More from the New York Times:
Mothers have grown weary of navigating strollers through the maze of barricades that have sprouted along the streets. Toddlers have been roused from sleep just after bedtime by chanting and pounding drums.
Heather Amato, 35, a psychologist who lives near the protest area, said she felt disturbed by some of the conduct of the protesters. She said she had to shield her toddler from the sight of women at the park dancing topless. “It’s been three weeks now,” Ms. Amato said. “Enough is enough.”
Though many people agree with and support the message of the protestors, it seems the methods are not so universally accepted. The danger is the protestors may lose the backing force behind their movement--the middle class workers and small business owners.
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