Thursday, October 27, 2011

Letter to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Mayor Dyer, I am a ardent supporter of yours.  I was extremely impressed by your leadership and persistence in getting approval for SunRail.  Your efforts and accomplishments to make downtown Orlando an attractive, pleasant and entertaining place to visit are commendable.

This is to bring your attention to the Occupy Orlando protests.  I urge you to support and enable the protesters.  They are frustrated and angry about how the system has failed them.  Their grievances need to be heard.  They have the support of the majority of Americans who share their frustration with the system.  In a NY Times poll released yesterday, congress had a 9% approval rating, an all-time low.  The Occupy protester’s message is extremely important and must be heard.  Our system is broken and must be fixed.  Failure to heed the message I’m afraid will lead to more anger and violence.  Civic leaders can head this off by supporting the protestors’ right to assemble and express their First Amendment rights of free speech.  The need for this message to get out supersedes any need to maintain a curfew on a public space.

I respectfully request that you issue an indefinite permit for the protesters to occupy Senator Beth Johnson Park 24 hours a day.  They need sanitary facilities including porta-potties.  I would personally be willing to help raise the funds necessary to accomplish this.  I am confident that with the overwhelming support the Occupy Protest movement raising funds to enable an orderly protest would not be a problem.

I have personally participated in the Occupy Orlando protests including the march on the 15th.  The vast majority of the protesters want to maintain excellent relations with the city and keep the protests peaceful.  The volunteers that act as peace marshals have done an excellent job so far.  Clashes with the Orlando Police Department such as took place the other night just make some protesters more angry and make the job of the peace marshals more difficult.

Mayor Dyer, these protests constitute an opportunity for you to show your leadership on this critical issue.  I urge you to act decisively now.  Orlando should be an example to the rest of the country, certainly not another Oakland.

Thank you very much.

928 Arabian Ave
Winter Springs, FL 32708