OWS Protesters, Small Children on Their Way to School, and Wall Street

I actually saw this CBS News report of children being “harassed” by OWS protesters on their way to school. In fact, I saw it about four times in a one hour local news show:

They were caught in the middle of madness.

Some grade school students were forced to walk a gauntlet of screaming “Occupy WallStreet” protesters just to get to school on Thursday.

It was a wild day in lower Manhattan for most everyone involved, including elementary schoolchildren who had to brave the mayhem just to get to class on the other side of Wall Street.

In the middle of thousands of protestors yelling and chanting — some kicking and screaming – CBS 2’s Emily Smith found little school kids trying to get to class. Nervous parents led them through the barriers on Wall Street. The NYPD helped funnel the children, anything to ease their fears while some protestors chanted “follow those kids!”

“These guys are terrorists, yelling at little kids,” one father said.

“For them it’s horrible. They’re afraid of all the crowds. We’re not even able to get through. They’re just, he’s … very afraid now,” a mother added.

Needless to say, the mounds of biased language in this piece don’t trouble the horrified righties commenting on this story, but here is Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog providing some perspective:

Look, if this really happened, there’s no excuse for it. I acknowledge that. It’s completely inappropriate and unjustified[.]

[…]

And yet, as unnecessary and ill-targeted as this harassment is, how does it compare to what literally millions of American children endure every day, more and more of them in the past few years precisely because of what was done by men and women on Wall Street in our latest Gilded Age (which, for them, is apparently still going on)?

…According to “The State of America’s Children 2011,” a report issued last month by the Children’s Defense Fund, the impact of the recession on children’s well-being has been catastrophic….

• The number of children living in poverty has increased by four million since 2000, and the number of children who fell into poverty between 2008 and 2009 was the largest single-year increase ever recorded.

• The number of homeless children in public schools increased 41 percent between the 2006-7 and 2008-9 school years.

• In 2009, an average of 15.6 million children received food stamps monthly, a 65 percent increase over 10 years….

As a report issued last week by the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out: “Of the 47 states with newly enacted budgets, 38 or more states are making deep, identifiable cuts in K-12 education, higher education, health care, or other key areas in their budgets for fiscal year 2012…. the vast majority of states (37 of 44 states for which data are available) plan to spend less on services in 2012 than they spent in 2008….”

It’s awful to do what was reportedly done to those kids trying to go to school on Wall Street. But it’s unspeakable to do what this society is doing to millions of children, and it’s being done because Reagan/Rand attitudes toward taxes and government have prevailed for three decades, and because we as a nation have decided that the wealthiest can do whatever the hell they want and we should deprive ourselves to stake them over and over again when they screw up.

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