PEORIA -- About 200 people manned the baricades -- uh -- marched through Peoria's streets -- on Oct. 15 to show solidarity with the Occupy movements everywhere.
They posted for photos in front of Caterpillar, Inc. and Chase/JP Morgan, the courthouses and City Hall.
There were a few colorful chants and signs, and a few colorful people, but in general the event was fairly low key. In fact it was so low key that no police showed up along the route, or at the rally, scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Liberty Park Pavilion, but which didn't begin until 2:30 p.m.
What if you had a rally for the revolution and no police noticed? An insult? Or thank heavens.
They plan to meet again next Saturday, to picket around town and plan for an encampment, if they can find a suitable place.
An encampment as winter sets in? Betcha it doesn't happen.
Meanwhile, the city of Peoria is planning a 133 percent increase in the garbage tax (uh, fee, they call it, same thing), from $6 a month to $14. So tiny households of one person, perhaps on a very low income, will be forced to pay the same as a suburban mansion with eight residents generating a lot more garbage.
That ought to generate an occupation of City Hall! Does anyone out there have the guts to do that?
This is a terrible, flat tax, very unfair. If the city needs more money it should raise property taxes. That term wasn't even mentioned in the PJS story on the proposal.
An ambitious local revolutionary could start a movement to refuse to pay the tax/fee, which is collected through the water bills. Yes, the city pays the Illinois American Water Co., to collect the tax/fee, a situation that can be challenged, but it would be a hassle.
The company can't cut off your water if you refuse to pay, I've heard, but the city might put a lien on your property, though I don't think that's ever been done.
Now you know why the city wants to buy the water company -- not to give residents cheaper water, apparently, but to make money and collect fees. Meanwhile it gives or loans money to private businesses for 'development.' Sweet for them.
So it goes in River City ... and will the real revolutionaries please organize something useful!
-- Elaine Hopkins
Here's a good analysis of the OWS movement -- it has already won by changing the conversation, says disgraced former NY Gov Eliot Spitzer. (Why are all the good guys so flawed?)
Here's a fabulous piece by Matt Taibbi on what the demands of the OWS prdotesters should be.