A majority of the people who participated in our Nov. 3, 2011 online survey support the mission and tactics of Occupy Petaluma, the group that has been holding a Wall Street protest.
Some 52.2 percent support the protest, while 34.3 do not. Asked if they feel the protesters are accomplishing something, respondents were evenly split.
Here are some of the comments by those who responded to the survey:
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“I’m always happy to see people doing something to help make positive change.”
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“I am in support of Occupy, but not sure that living overnight in places is that effective.”
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“I attended a ‘general Assembly’ meeting in the park last night and felt very inspired by how we all collaborated with each other. This is a very dedicated group of people!”
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“I didn’t really notice the Occupy Petaluma protests, they were peaceful, but I fail to understand the point of any of these ‘Occupy’ protests — camping out, causing unrest, disrupting small businesses that are part of the 99 percent to the point that they are losing business or worse, their business (talk about counter-productive). The 1 percent doesn’t care and won’t until we get them firmly out of the pockets of the politicians. A favorite poster I saw said ‘Occupy the polls.’ Until it hurts their wallets (and that of the politicians), the 1 percent will continue with business as usual … because they can.”
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“I feel that some of the protesters are misguided. Let’s look at why the banks were allowed to make no-doc loans, why were consumers allowed to purchase a property worth 20 times their non-provided income and just why were the brokers allowed to charge huge percentage rates for each loan? The blame falls on our illustrious leadership, Congress, Senate and even the president of the United States. The protests should be focused on Washington, D.C. and the state capital buildings. Not on non-important buildings with a bank leasing space inside. Reorganize, march on D.C., go to the source, make the statement where the statement should be made.”
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“I hope that the ‘Occupy’ movement in general will create increased public awareness of the disturbing increase in inequality in this country over the last few decades, and of the power of money in our political system.”
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“I hope they are successful. I attended part of the event and am in agreement with the protest against the takeover of our country by big business. I think that they (we) need to be out there on the street corners every day. ‘Preaching to the crowd’ at the park doesn’t accomplish much.”
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“I look at the videos of the various ‘Occupy’ gatherings, and wonder what percentage of them regularly vote. Also, I fail to see how such actions as closing down the Port of Oakland accomplishes anything other than making life more difficult for other working people. But then, many of those I see participating in these protests look as though they have never held a job.”
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“All Americans who consider themselves part of the 99 percent should show their support for this movement. Policemen, firemen, teachers, health care workers, social service providers etc. are all part of the same group that feels like our economic system favors the rich!”
Give our country back to the people not the corporations.”
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“I recommend anyone curious to go down to an ‘Occupy’ event and see what’s going on.”

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“I sympathize with the complaint that our economy has become unbalanced, and those hiding behind the term ‘capitalism’ are just looking to tilt the rules in their direction. However, street protests are too easily subverted by vandals, and manifestos are too often co-opted by those just looking to tilt the rules far the other way. I’d love to see some of that energy put into creating better news and civics resources, and into real political action.”
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“I think anything that disrupts other people’s businesses is wrong. It kept people from going down and doing business in town because they didn’t want to deal with it, thus making people lose money in a time when they are already struggling with keeping their businesses open. I know the protest has to deal with this issue in a way, but half of the people who go to these online casino protests go just to go. They have no jobs to worry about anyway. They don’t not have a job because they lost it, they just don’t care to have one and so they are living off the people who do have jobs and they are taking away their business. Why hurt other people in your ‘cause’ to help? We won’t even mention the useless violence and destruction elsewhere that is always caused by protest. Just another example of people hurting people and destroying their property. How is that right? Thank goodness it didn’t get out of control everywhere. And the money wasted to control the people — how can that wasted spending be justified by they?”
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“I wish it was more centralized in town, I understand that it is right next to B of A, though.”
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“Get a life, people. If you don’t like people who have worked for their income, you belong in another country. This is just a bunch of spoiled brats who want something for nothing. In earlier years, they would have been water cannoned and arrested. You can pull this crap in foreign countries and get arrested or mouth off in America and actually get news coverage. Go figure. There are many foreign countries who would be happy to have you — oh wait, they don’t have any jobs either … sorry, you’ll just have to get off your butt and make a living. Hopefully, far from Petaluma.”
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“Given the recent problems in Oakland and other cities, I’m very impressed with how peaceful and positive this group is. It is so important for people all over the country to voice their displeasure at the degree to which money has corrupted our democracy, and I’m glad to be able to join the protests on the weekends without driving to Santa Rosa or San Francisco. I think they’re awesome!”
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“I believe large publicly traded corporations are a key element of the negative (’soul sucking’) views about capitalism — but am I willing to stop investing for my own retirement? Probably not, but I may change the mutual funds I’m investing in. I also plan to support more local mom-and-pop stores than I do today. On an individual level, I’m not opposed to people having various levels of financial worth and I don’t think I’m owed anything by those who have more money than I do.”