The only way change has ever come about in America is through public protest.
The original tea party
The Whiskey Rebellion
Repeal of Prohibition
The Voting Rights Act
The Civil Rights Act
Tea Party circa 2010
Were all of these protests peaceful? Nope.
Did they lead to changes? Yes. Some more wide-sweeping than others.
To say one group's tactics were "right" or "wrong" isn't the point.
Is someone of serious moral fiber going to argue that occupying a park is more wrong than murdering a bunch of slave holders? Russ might. Compared to the tactics of John Brown, it's hard to argue that the OWS protestors are anywhere near as "bad" as Russ makes them out to be.
If they were alive back then, I wonder what the Russ Phelps' of the US would have said about Carry Nation? She helped get conservatives elected. And her protests - where she destroyed the capitalist establishments that sold liquor - helped bring about prohibition. She was reviled and later the act was overturned.
People said the exact same kind of ugly shit that these chuckleheads are saying about suffragists, voting rights activists, pro-emancipation protestors, ALL OF THEM were maligned by the other side as horrible people.
I honestly like that people like Russ are out there talking shit on the OWS protestors. The hypocrisy is obvious, the agenda is glaring, and more importantly, the fact that they are tarring them is just making the OWS folks more entrenched and a bigger part of the conversation. (look at how much dialog has occurred here in the past two weeks about it).
I'm with you though; the thing that really bothers me is the coordinated governmental suppression of the protests in order to divide and conquer. It's blatantly obvious that Obama's DOJ has been involved in these municipal suppression efforts.
He's going to pay the price for that next year. I just don't our society could be manipulated to un-mesh these corporatocracies - and the shrews political operatives know that you can't win if you do not play.