Occupy Wall Street protest in Washington, D.C.

'Occupy' protesters get out of hand in Washington, D.C.

Most Americans would agree that shoving old women to the ground, using four-year-old children as roadblocks and defecating on the porches of private citizens is neither a peaceful nor dignified way to conduct a protest.

However, this shameful behavior appears to be all too common at the various Occupy movements, as The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Brownfield’s coverage of Occupy D.C. illustrates:

At one point, a 78-year-old woman who was attending the event was knocked down some stairs while attempting to get around the protesters, as this video shows. She reportedly wound up with a bump on her head and a bloody nose. One occupier forced her children into the center of the protest, and four protesters were injured by a car when they were intentionally obstructing traffic. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said of the violence, “That is no longer a peaceful protest” and that the protesters have become “increasingly confrontational and violent toward uninvolved bystanders and motorists.”

Occupy Wall Street has been called many things, but one label that is becoming less and less applicable is “peaceable.”

Week after week, more stories of verbal and physical abuse make it apparent that any semblance of lawful protest the movement may once have had is giving way to a general attitude of mob violence and disregard for the law:

In New York, women were recently forced to set up a “safety tent” after a rash of sexual assaults and fear of more sexual predators joining the protests. In October, Baltimore occupiers discouraged women from reporting sexual assaults and rapes to the police. Also in New York, an occupier turned violent this week in a McDonald’s often used for bathrooms when the restaurant refused to give him free food.

Meanwhile, Heritage’s Lachlan Markay reports, the “protests are exacting a significant toll on businesses in the cities where they have set up camp.”

“Oakland has been hit hardest,” he explains on Heritage’s Scribe blog. “A week after ‘Occupy’ protesters there rioted, vandalizing local businesses and clashing with police, city merchants say their sales are down by as much as 60 percent.”

Despite this, President Obama and liberals in Congress continue to stand by their endorsements of the protests.

What do you think? When is a protest no longer considered peaceful?

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