The Rapidian

On the Eve of Protest; An Open Letter to the City of Grand Rapids

An appeal to the city government of Grand Rapids to treat our fellow citizens with dignity and respect during the upcoming "Occupy Grand Rapids" protest movement
Underwriting support from:

Occupy Grand Rapids begins

Occupy Grand Rapids kicks of with their event: "A Lovely Stroll", meeting at the Fulton St Farmer's Market at 8am Saturday October 8th. From the FSFM partcipants will decide the tme to leave on their precession westward down E. Fulton St towards Calder Plaza.

On the Eve of Protest; An Open Letter to the City of Grand Rapids: 

In regards to the upcoming "Occupy Grand Rapids" campaign, I believe that our city has a great opportunity to once again prove to the rest of the world what our values as a community are.

Whether or not the leadership in our community government agrees with the principles and logic behind this protest movement, they have a responsibility to protect the democratic freedoms and rights of those in our community that choose to exercise their constitutional rights.

In protecting the rights and freedoms of our fellow Rapidians, our local government also has the responsibility of protecting the safety and well-being of our fellow citizens.

One only has to look to the mainstream media for a plethora of examples of how other cities have badly handled the protest movements. Images and video of unarmed citizens being netted, corralled, prodded, pepper sprayed, verbally and physically abused by police are being released every day as this movement grows.

The vast majority of the people involved in these protests are not utilizing violence or other illegal actions, yet they are frequently being treated like dangerous criminals by government agencies anxious to control them.

In our technology driven world, images and information travels at the speed of light across countless channels; transmitted, received and re-transmitted thousands of times at an astounding rate. Negative examples of how local government in New York City has repeatedly mistreated people exercising their constitutional rights spread across the globe mere moments after occurring.

The city of Grand Rapids has an opportunity at this time to show the world how a peaceful protest can be conducted. Grand Rapids can be the example of how a city government handles the responsibility of protecting not only the rights, but also the safety and welfare of the citizens engaged in dissent. Grand Rapids has the opportunity to show the world how people and government can work together in a positive manner.

In a city known for utilizing the power of information technology, it is a safe bet that everything that happens in the upcoming weeks will be broadcast for the world to see. What the world will see is up to us, and our leadership in the government in the city of Grand Rapids. 

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.