Open Carry Shuts Down Occupy Atlanta When Nothing Else Could

We’ve all seen the sympathetic saturation media coverage of the Occupy “movement” these last few weeks. What started as ten or twenty slackers protesting Wall Street, capitalism and people they non-specifically identify at “the 1%” has slowly grown and spread to various cities across the country and overseas. While it’s a movement largely without specific grievances, goals or demands, it’s been mostly harmless, if you overlook inconveniences such as petty theft, public defecation and the occasional rape here and there. Complaints from neighboring businesses and residents haven’t been enough to prompt otherwise-supportive, linguine-spined mayors to shut down the squatters’ encampments in most cities. Until, that is, someone showed up with a legally carried gun…

Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed, was totally down with the rabble in Woodruff Park. Hell, he even took the time out of his busy schedule to march with them, expressing solidarity with the 99 percenters. It’s hard to pass up a chance for a juicy photo op with the lumpen proletariat. Anyway, he didn’t seem to have any trouble footing the bill for increased police coverage. That is, until one unidentified man decided to walk through the park with an AK slung over his shoulder.

Scores of Atlanta police officers moved in overnight — some clad in riot gear, some on horseback, all under orders to clear the park of protesters. The order came from Mayor Kasim Reed, who says the last straw was a man walking around Woodruff Park Tuesday afternoon carrying an assault rifle.

11Alive’s Jaye Watson spoke to the man, who declined to identify himself. “(The gun is) a symbol of the last line of resistance against a government that’s going to try to push people out because of their ideals,” he said. The man told Watson the weapon was a semi-automatic version of the AK-47. Such weapons are legal in Georgia.

Reed says the man was seen near former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who was in the park at the same time Tuesday. Reed says the presence of the assault rifle appeared to represent a more aggressive outlook among some of those encamped at Woodruff Park. So Reed ordered the overnight arrests and barricade of the park.

Reed had no problem with a bunch of leftists and anarchists camping out in one of his city’s parks, banging drums and protesting banks, capitalism, Wall Street or other forms of conventional wealth creation and productivity. But let one law-abiding individual walk by with a legally owned and carried rifle and the picture changed entirely.

“By every measure, from the way they treated people from my administration, to things that they said on camera, to having a man with an AK47 accompany a leader that came to a press conference that I met with, all put us on a trajectory toward something bad,” Reed said.

The protestors – those conducting themselves peacefully and obeying local laws – had every right to be there demonstrating and protesting whatever their hearts desire. Reed, however, couldn’t manage to square the group’s first amendment rights with the equally valid second amendment rights of one man. Go figure.  

comments

  1. avatar Don says:

    Either someone in Atlanta holds a serious double-standard or they have a really guilty conscious.

    -D

  2. avatar Guywithagun says:

    Aren’t you fed up yet? The founders of this country gave us the 2nd amendment so we would have the arms to defend ourselves from an oppressive government that does not abide the constitution. What in the world are you waiting for? An invitation? Your window of opportunity is closing. It starts with you.

    You can’t vote your way to peace and happiness.

    1. avatar Jason says:

      What in the heck are you saying? Are you advocating tyranny? RF, you gonna allow this?

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        I think he’s pulling your leg. If not, well, uh. How bout them apples?

      2. avatar matt says:

        Advocating tyranny? Huh? I’m pretty sure that guy is advocating violent protest. Which I completely agree with. The fallacy of nonviolent protest is rooted in the civil rights movement. But just like the cake, it too is a lie. It wasnt the protests in the streets which caused integration but rather men with rifles: http://urbanhabitat.org/files/images/101stAirborneLittleRckCntHi.jpg

        1. avatar karlb says:

          Men with guns only went so far. It was the televised images of Bull Connor’s police force clubbing non-violent protestors that move public conscience. One can impose through force, but hearts and minds are rarely moved in positive ways through that method. While we are far from a race-blind society, there are real changes that have taken root.

        2. avatar other says:

          Are you saying that clubbing protesters is non-violent? Hearts and minds were _indeed_ moved by that violence. It was just violence perpetrated on the protesters instead of by.

        3. avatar Jason says:

          I’m kind of missing your point Matt. The picture shows the 101st Airborne escorting students in Arkansas. No violence and the rifles are in the hands of the government.

          From what I can tell Guywithagun is advocating you and I to take up arms against the government. How does that jive with your picture? It seems a bit ass-backwards.

        4. avatar matt says:

          In both my picture and this blog article there is the implied threat of mutally assured destruction.

          Also because nonviolent protest is ineffective and the government has a long history of assaulting peaceful protesters. Here is one where the police and military shot, bayoneted and gassed a camp setup by WW1 veterans:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army#Police_Shooting

        5. avatar Totenglocke says:

          “From what I can tell Guywithagun is advocating you and I to take up arms against the government.”

          Well at least it’s keeping true to the Declaration of Independence.

        6. avatar BLAMMO says:

          Matt, you’re confusing enforcement with protest. The Constitution protects the rights to peaceably assemble. If you’re advocating violent protest, that’s not protest at all. That’s revolution.

          Revolution either succeeds or it fails. There is no in-between. At least, you can’t plan it that way. Once a revolution succeeds, everything that was before is gone. Both the tyranny and the Constitution. What’s left is nothing. Or, at best, chaos. It’s like pressing the RESET button. It’s like Europe between the Wars, where every ilk of ideologue is on every street corner.

          After revolution, you never go back to anything that was. You start from scratch.

        7. avatar rosignol says:

          I would make a distinction between advocating violent protest and enacting violent protest.

          The former could conceivably be done in a manner protected by the 1st A, but the latter is always illegal.

      3. avatar Guywithagun says:

        tyr·an·ny [tir-uh-nee]
        noun, plural -nies.

        1. arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.

        4. oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
        5. undue severity or harshness.

        Huh? Advocating tryanny? No, sir. Just the opposite… by whatever means necessary! Tyranny is what you have now, sir. I think it is you that has it “ass-backwards”.

        We are the people. We have the power vested in us to undo that Tyranny. When your words are not heard, the 2A is your voice.

        1. avatar Glokelwal says:

          I’m with ya….

        2. avatar jbyrne says:

          So, Guywithagun and Glockelwal, what do you think about McVeigh and Nicholes? If McVeigh wasn’t dead I’d wonder if he had internet access.

          Blammo hit the nail on the head. The constitution does not give carte blanche to take out our leaders when you don’t agree. You um, vote them out. What a concept. There is a word that better fits your ideas — terrorism.

          You know your words mean things.

        3. avatar Guywithagun says:

          Do you think the British would would have labeled us rebels as “terrorists” had the term existed during our revolution? You better believe it. How does that change anything? Your use of the T word here just shows that their propaganda and tactics of modifying your perceptions are working.

          The issue here is about the government violating our fundamental rights. They violate the first amendment (peaceful protest) while using a violation of the 2nd amendment as their excuse. How are you not upset? And even if you are upset, that’s not good enough. Get mad… really mad!

          We don’t need the Constitution to tell us our rights. Our Constitution was written so that our government and other countries will understand and respect how we choose to be free. Burn the document and it changes nothing. It is merely a reflection of the freedom upon which this country was founded. It is a shame that the freedoms we fought for are being eaten away piece by piece. We have been infiltrated very slowly and precisely and the voters have allowed it. Those who sit idly by with their ballots slips hoping the politicians get it right are merely contributers.

          As a basic example, all it took was the phrase “A well regulated militia” to justify those politicians with all the excuse they needed to infringe on that which is inalienable: the right of every American to defend themselves from tyranny. It’s amazing to me that the 2A still contains the 2nd half of that sentence. The Militia consists of every able-bodied American man, woman, & child that is willing to fight to oppose tyranny. That fact has never changed. McVeigh & Nichols were two guys (still part of that militia) who were willing to fight for what they believed in. That’s all. Their tactics failed because they were forced to act without support of the rest of the militia. Why are the rest of you so afraid to fight for what you believe in? Quit hiding behind your ballot box. I have never voted, and I never will. I don’t need to ask permission to keep my rights.

  3. avatar matt says:

    Funny sterotypes you used there. Everyone protesting is rabble except the guy openly carrying a communist rifle? BTW, you forgot to say everyone there is paid by George Sorros except the guy with the commie gun.

  4. avatar Sam Wright says:

    Just a wild conspiracy theory, but maybe Mayor Reed wanted to shut down the occupiers and hired a guy to walk around with a gun to give him an excuse? Blame it on 2nd amendment advocates as the reason for Kasim to crack down on protesters’ 1st amendment rights.

    1. avatar Silver says:

      Wouldn’t surprise me.

      1. avatar Van says:

        I know for a fact this guy was not hired by the mayor of Atlanta.

        And no, I am not that guy.

        1. avatar Sam Wright says:

          Van, Is he sympathetic to the occupy protesters? What is his motivation? Mayor Reed says, “having a man with an AK47 accompany a leader that came to a press conference that I met with…”, what does he mean? Which leader, of the occupiers? Which press conference, I cannot find Mayor Reed at a press conference with a man with an AK. Maybe after careful reading I may revise my wild conspiracy theory to say that the Occupiers are starting to get armed and exercise 1st and 2nd amendment rights. Reed says the presence of the assault rifle appeared to represent a more aggressive outlook among some of those encamped at Woodruff Park.

        2. avatar MikeSilver says:

          The guy disagreed with just about everything #OWS was protesting. However, he was there to support their rights to protest. He wasn’t connected with #OWS or the Mayor in any way.

          We should all note that once a Libertarian/Tea Party kind of guy showed up and started to get press, the Mayor ended Occupy.

        3. avatar Sam Wright says:

          Thanks MikeSilver, I understand a bit better now. This guy (Porch the gun owner) is featured at about 2:55 in the video on this link. http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/mayor-faces-tide-of-1209968.html

  5. avatar BWCustoms says:

    I belong to the forum where this guy is from.He is just exercising his rights and was not send by the government.lol

  6. avatar tdiinva says:

    The Occupy Whatever movement is a diverse group of anti-democratic activists and their minions. The movement has been endorsed by the Communist Party, the KKK and the American Nazis. Chances are this protester was Nazi or Klansman. (See the Occupy Phoenix: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/10/grand-wizard-of-the-kkk-endorses-ows-neo-nazis-patrol-occupyphoenix-with-ar-15s-media-silent/ )

    The so-called Progressive movement has evolved into a kind of globalized Fascism combining the ideologies of Reds, Browns, Blacks and Greens. (For the uninitiated the colors represent shirts worn by the followers of various Fascist movements) They do not represent the forces of freedom but of tyranny. They are not to be viewed as a legitimate expression of American values but instead they are descendants of Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. They are the Mob, organized and subsidized by the White House and the Democratic Party, that the Founding Fathers feared the most.

    1. avatar BWCustoms says:

      This person was not a Nazi or KKK – you are so far out in left field it borders on the tin foil hat society.He has been an outstanding contributor on GeorgiaPacking.org for quite some time (thousands of posts I believe). From my understanding he was not there to represent the Occupy movement, but just took the opportunity to support his 2A Rights.

      Down here in Georgia we don’t have to deal with nearly as many “Nazi” regulations as other states. Thankfully.

      =)

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        I had posted before others had identified the gentleman with the rifle so apologies to him and his friends are rendered here. However, it is true that extremist elements of all colors are participating in the Occupy movement.

    2. avatar Crispin says:

      Breathing has also been endorsed by the KKK and Communist Party.

      I am a supporter of the Occupy movement, and take great offense at your characterization of it as anti-democratic. I, and everyone I have personally spoken with, have no problem with capitalism — hell, I plan on being stink’n in the future. We simply believe that unrestrained capitalism is detrimental to society; that America is controlled more by corporations than it is by people. Now that is undemocratic.

      1. avatar Capitalist says:

        um….corporations are the people….by definition….

        corporation

        1. an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.
        2.(initial capital letter) the group of principal officials of a borough or other municipal division in England.
        3.any group of persons united or regarded as united in one body.
        4.Informal. a paunch; potbelly.

        1. avatar karlb says:

          Corporations are not “the people” by definition. A corporation is a business owned by shareholders. As is pointed out, the corporation exists independent of the ownership of the present owners. Also, the corporation might be owned by literally millions of “owners,” but the actual controlling interests are held by far, far fewer. Also, while the expressed reason for a corporation is to make profit for the shareholders, in recent decades, the executive officers are the ones who have made the greatest increases in their earnings (I believe this is one of the main complaints of the OWS folks).

      2. avatar tdiinva says:

        Spare me the outrage. The MSM may be covering up the hate filled protesters but there is ample video documentation that anti-Semitism and violent rhetoric is common among mainstream Occupy protesters. Ne0-Nazis, Klansman and Communists are not only welcomed into the encampments they have taken prominent roles in keeping the encampments going.

        When the Teaparters encounter fringe groups they ushered them away from the event while OWS welcomes them. OSW advocates a form of democracy found in places like the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea or the former German Democratic Republic.

        1. avatar Crispin says:

          If this is truly happening on as large of a scale as you are implying, this is indeed troubling news. However, there is nothing inherently racist with Occupy Wallstreet, and the communities it sprang from — 4chan*, reddit, AlterNet, etc. — are far from racist.

          I would also like to say that of course there are going to be racists out there who support the movement, just as there are racists who support the Tea Party, the NRA, NASCAR, etc. There is no one in charge of the protests, either nationally or locally, so if someone shows up with an “obama is a nigger” sign, there isn’t a whole hell of a lot other protesters can do to evict him. It’s public space, after.

          And at the risk of picking nits, I want to mention that you may be wrongly equating anti-Israel sentiments (e.g.. an “Israel sucks!” sign) as being anti-semetic. There is a lot of vitriol on the internet over Israel’s recent actions, but very little of this is from people who are racist. Whether you support Palestine or not, this distinction still stands.

          *regarding 4chan: it’s community’s favorite words are fag and nigger, but… well, it’s 4chan. If you look at the community’s actual actions, you’ll see them doing stuff like DDOSing a white supremacy website.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          All those sites you cite are leftwing extremists. They filled with anti-Semitism. “Anti-Zionism” is just a cover to make the new neo-Nazis feel morally superior. They don’t give a rat’s a$$ about the “Palestinians”. Why do you think there all those Kill the Jew Banker signs?

          People who agree with Sarah Palin on Main Street vs Wall Street believe in democracy not those paid by George Soros.

        3. avatar Crispin says:

          Kill the Jew Banker signs? Where?

          And yeah, all those site are left wing. The protests are also left wing, although they share more ground with the Tea Party than either side would like to admit. Alternet is certainly extreme, but at least they’re also extremely anti-racist. I have not seen any comments or submissions to reddit that are anti-semtic that aren’t downvoted to oblivion. Again, I do not equate anti-Isralel sentiments with anti-sematism. It’s a completely different subject.

          George Soros is not paying me. I wish he was; as it is, I just got a job at Wal-Mart.

      3. avatar GS650G says:

        So, we should have controlled capitalism. OK. Who gets to control it?

        1. avatar Crispin says:

          The Gub’mint.

          Yup, I’m one of those people.

          (In case you’re wondering what the hell I’m doing here, I’m a social libertarian who doesn’t like drug control, gun control, or any other limits placed on personal freedom. Oh, and guns are cool.)

        2. avatar Guywithagun says:

          Right on! I respect that. There’s nothing more important than our personal freedoms. Just be careful what you ask your Gub’mint to do for you. There’s really no one properly keeping them in check.

      4. avatar Joe nobody says:

        Then you should be protesting crony capitalism and corporatism not capitalism

  7. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    The Brits thought the SONS OF LIBERTY were terrorists, but some people’s terrorists are other peoples hero’s. We have some of these whiney ass occupy fools downtown, and most of them are either homeless, druggies or ex cons. They make noise all night long and leave litter every where.

  8. avatar Phil says:

    This guy was about using paramilitary weapons to incite revolution and use deadly force against the government if you don’t believe the government is “constitutional”. NOT about the individual’s right to self-defense against crime. BIG difference. I’m sure the Atlanta cops had some sharpshooters tracking his every move. Good on them! Hope next time he decides to carry that AK in his hands and they cap his butt! We don’t need to wait for another Jared Loughlin or Norway tragedy to happen first. Yeah, it is legal to do this in GA, at the moment. It is dumb-ass behavior like this that will bring a ton of new “sane” gun laws to Georgia in the future. Judging from what I see here, that will probably be for the better, because this is headed nowhere good.

    1. avatar Van says:

      Are you being serious?

      1. avatar Derek says:

        I couldn’t tell either… 😐

    2. avatar BWCustoms says:

      Calm down grandpa. Time for your meds. Holy crap. lol

  9. avatar Sam Wright says:

    Even I do not believe my wild conspiracy theories. Some may think they have no place here. The Truth about Guns is that some gun nuts are nuts, (not me). It is good that this forum gives a stage for different views to be discussed and let them stand on their own merit. I often find the Armed Intelligentsia more intelligent than I expected. The man in the photo is Porch, Gun Owner, according to Channel 2 Action News WSB-TV. Porch segment starts at 2:55 in video. http://bcove.me/bhqvelbs The Occupy Atlanta group had permission to camp overnight in the park, but after park closing, at 11:58pm, the permission was revoked and the cops moved in and arrested people. I do not like what #OWS stand for, but I even more so do not like an oppressive government. Let us join our brothers and sisters in the occupy movement across the nation and openly carrying where legal! who is with me?

  10. avatar MikeSilver says:

    Some further news reports with the requisite references to powerful weapons and assault weapons …. oh no! Hide the children!

    http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/occpuy-atlanta-supporter-drew-attention-with-ak-47/vD2xj/

    1. avatar Sam Wright says:

      Just anyone can buy those Russian assault rifles modern sporting arms as long as they are over 18 and not a felon.

  11. avatar GS650G says:

    You have a lot more to fear from the watchful authorities than from one man with a gun.

  12. avatar west philthy says:

    Blah…can we get back to some gun reviews.

  13. avatar Mark says:

    Forget about the second amendment for a second. I know this may cause brains to turn to jello around here 😉 – but just look at it from the point of view of a non-gun owner.

    Hippies in a park = no threat.
    Guy openly carrying a rifle = threat.

    Simple as that.

    Everything is fun and games until the guns come out. Guns represent an implied threat, like it or not. You have the right to bear them, but you also have the right to think about how it will look to everyone around you that *doesn’t* happen to share your particular views.

    If you think toting a rifle around in plain view is a constructive method for advancing gun rights in a positive manner… Well, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Nebraska I’d love to sell to you.

    Guns are the last resort in any political argument. Pulling ’em out early just shuts down any possible dialog to the level of simple violence. Occasionally reading the comments and articles on here, I get the feeling the vast majority of people that write things on here exist in some sort of ideal universe where everyone sees things as they do, and the thought of the most effective way to change other people’s views is never contemplated, just what *can* be done.

    The constant level of surprise that other citizens freak out when they see a man carrying a rifle openly that isn’t a.) hunting or b.) walking to a shooting range is in itself, surprising. If the person carrying the rifle isn’t hunting or seeking target practice, odds are he’s open to the possibility of using said rifle on another human being, or open to implying that he is. Don’t be surprised if others respond in kind.

  14. avatar APBTFan says:

    As far as I can see that fella was doing exactly as good ‘ol Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far”. His rifle was slung, he made no threats and by golly he went far by getting the whole goddam show shut down.

  15. avatar Adam5 says:

    What the news articles do not state, is that Mayor Reed had already rescinded the order allowing them to camp in the park, and was starting to mass APD personnel at the site, BEFORE “Porch” got there.

  16. avatar John says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a little reminder to our “dear leaders” of the Second Amendment, its purpose, that they are being watched, and to be mindful of what they do with the limited power they have been loaned for their short term in office. I for one commend the gentleman for standing up for the people of GA. and the U.S.

  17. avatar Chris says:

    @Mark 3:17 pm:
    Right on. This guy was acting entirely within his rights, as were the OWS types; BOTH do damage to their causes by their actions. You have rights, and you ought to exercise some good sense about how and when to insist upon them.
    @ Crispin 6:03 pm:
    The issue is not “capitalism” (which is beneficial) but “crony capitalism” where some use their wealth to extract favorable treatment and unfair advantage from an often-too-willing government (GE’s Immelt, or Solyndra, for example). Smaller, de-centralized government is less useful to these types and has the added benefit of costing ‘way less.

  18. avatar Phil says:

    Wish they had a law here like they do up in North Carolina. Yeah, it is legal to carry a firearm there too. But going armed to the terror of the public is not. Makes complete sense to me.

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