Occupy Wall Street is different in Logan

By Steve Eaton, For the Deseret News


 LOGAN — Like most people, I’ve been paying attention to the Occupy Wall Street movement and wondering how it will play out.

At first, I was concerned that the financial district would just relocate and the protestors would have to launch another movement called Occupy Cherry Grove Street. Then this thing would go on forever.

Someone explained to me, however, that it is a symbolic movement because the protestors are “occupying” Wall Street in various locations around the country.

I wondered what the movement would be like in Logan. Here, as you know, we do things way differently than you do in Salt Lake City. For example, we play three quarters of football instead of four; our speed limit signs are meant as a warning, not a challenge; and we are not required to run a story in the newspaper every day speculating what would happen if the country found out that Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are Mormons.

So to find our Occupy Wall Street crowd, I went up Logan Canyon because I’ve seen them camp out up there before. I found a small but vibrant group at a campsite just off the main road. They were way different than I had expected. For starters, they looked much younger and less angry than the groups I’ve seen on TV, and some of them were wearing khaki uniforms. I assumed those were the socialists trying to take advantage of the movement.

Because I once was a real reporter, I just walked right into the group and started asking questions.

“Excuse me,” I said. “I’m a pretend reporter for the Deseret News and I’m wondering if I could ask you some questions.”

Protestor 1: (I’m guessing he was, tops, 14 years old.) “What’s the Deseret News?”

“That’s a newspaper, a big newspaper based in Salt Lake City.”

Protestor 1: “What’s a newspaper?”

“Well, ah, it’s something you read every day, sort of like Facebook, but you print it out.”

Protestor 2: (This one might have been 15.) “I know what a newspaper is. It’s paper you use to start fires with if you are an old guy who doesn’t like explosions.”

“What?”

Protestor 1: “What’s your question?”

“I’m just interested in finding out why you are here. Why are you protesting?”

Protestor 2: “Oh, I can tell you why I’m protesting. I brought Scout water to pour on the logs, so we could get our fire going with a bang, and they took it away from me!”

There was obviously a hidden meaning here.

“Are you talking about gasoline? Are you mad that ‘The Man’ has made it unaffordable for you to drive?”

Protestor 1: “What are you talking about?

“I’m just trying to figure out what you are all about. What are your core beliefs?”

That’s when things got really weird.

Four or five of them, including some of the socialists, gathered around me and said in unison, “A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent and hungry.”

I walked away quite surprised, thoughtful and a little hungry. These Occupy Wall Street people are not at all the way they appear on television. Sure, they are grumpy about gas prices, but they have the ideals of Boy Scouts. They aren’t tied up in all the delusional knots that plague most of us because we are facing life unprepared. I found the whole thing uplifting.

infact, I went back to the group and climbed a tree and cut down some food that “The Man” had apparently put there to torment them. I was a hero. A revolutionary hero. I went home and told my family about it. We planned to go join the movement the next morning but we couldn’t.

We were out of gas

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