If the Occupy Asheville movement has cost the city of Asheville any extra money in pay for our police, that responsibility lies with Mayor Terry Bellamy and not the Occupy Movement [”Fully Occupied,” Nov. 8 Xpress].
It is the mayor’s view that the movement is dangerous that has caused the larger problem. So far, her view isn't backed by any evidence of misconduct by the O.A. group, but rather by her own opinion of the group.
Bellamy has been unfriendly toward other citizens of Asheville when their views are different from hers but her latest choices towards the O.A. movement are particularly vehement. Instead of being glad that the people of America have decided to take an active role in their government, Bellamy has chosen to make enemies of her own fellow citizens setting in motion the “Us versus Them” mentality that the Occupy movement tried so hard to avoid by asking the city for cooperation — as we did at the very beginning here in Asheville.
It's quite unfortunate that our polite requests were turned down and that we were answered with the presence of 22 armed and somewhat menacing police officers after the Council meeting. Has this ever happened before?
Negativity and violent posturing often produce negative and violent responses, and I hope Ms. Bellamy is prepared to accept responsibility for her misguided actions now and in the future, should things break down further and become other than peaceful assemblies.
I hope that we can have a government in Asheville that understands the needs of its citizens and the government’s responsibility in protecting the rights of its citizens.
I call for representatives in Asheville that know how to show quality leadership in these unusual times as community leaders are supposed to do.
Please, Mayor Bellamy: don't blame the messenger.
— Scott Owen