Occupy Las Vegas is unusually cooperative, i.e. tourist-friendly
How else to explain the congeniality of Occupy Las Vegas?
The Occupy Wall Street movement here is as friendly as the front desk staff at a Strip hotel, as the Associated Press reported, despite Nevadans having lots of reasons for rage. The Silver State leads the nation in unemployment, foreclosures and underwater mortgages. Although its tourism industry is gaining some strength, the recession decimated its other economic pillar, construction.
Protesters here lease an empty lot from the county and abide by a contract requiring clean toilets and banning littering. They submit plans for demonstrations to police and once canceled a protest on Las Vegas Boulevard because officials said it would be a particularly busy weekend.
"We don't want to chase tourists away from our city because that's where a lot of people's jobs come from," David Peter, a union worker active in Occupy Las Vegas, told the AP.
By contrast, Occupy groups in Oakland, Seattle and Portland, Ore., have clashed with city officials over their camps. This week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the tent city in Zuccotti Park, the birthplace of the Occupy movement, shut down.
In Las Vegas, Occupy members told the AP they could accomplish more with less aggressive tactics. For example, they are holding a series of workshops aimed at helping struggling homeowners.
--Ashley Powers in Las Vegas
Photo: Bob Joyce relaxes outside his tent at the Occupy Las Vegas camp site just a mile from the Las Vegas Strip. Credit: Julie Jacobson / Associated Press