Occupy Port Jeff Protesters Take a Page From Dickens

Weekly protesters had a little fun by dressing up as Dickensian characters.

Charles Dickens is known for his stories of life in 19th Century London, many of which were works of social commentary, criticizing the differences between the very poor and impoverished and the extremely wealthy who took advantage of them. If that sounds familiar to you, you're not alone in thinking that today's society is looking a lot more like it was in Dickens' time.

The every week were out again on Saturday during the with messages about the ever-widening gap between rich and poor in this country in the 21st Century. Instead of standing out in contrast to the backdrop of chimney sweeps and Victorian ladies, the protesters took a different tack and blended in with the theme of the day.

Their message was "don't let this become a tale of two cities" as one protester was telling people as they walked by.

Many others, dressed as Dickensian street folk, held up signs cut out to look like prison bars that read "debtors prison" with accompanying messages that said things like, "not a living wage" or "student loan debt."

Michael Mart, , was having a good time himself with being able to lend a literary slant to the social discourse.

His sign read, "Dickens gave voice to the 99%."

Mark Kauffman December 04, 2011 at 03:34 AM
Excellent! Gee, we haven't advanced too much from 19th Century London, despite what people seem to think! That same disparity exists today and is getting worse. We had a chance to have a prosperous middle class, but that's getting to be more and more of a distant memory. Bravo to the brave souls who keep getting the message out. Will you be coming back on Sunday? :)
Get Off My Lawn December 04, 2011 at 12:47 PM
The United States increasingly resembles a 3rd world country in terms of unemployment, lack of economic opportunity, falling wages, growing poverty and concentration of wealth, government debt, corporate influence over government and weakening rule of law. Federal Reserve monetary policies and federal government economic, regulatory and tax policies seem to favor the largest banks and corporations over the interests of small businesses or of the general population. The potential elimination of the middle class could reshape the socioeconomic strata of American society in the image of a 3rd world country. It seems only a matter of time before the devolution of the United States becomes more visible. As the U.S. economy continues to decline, public health, nutrition and education, as well as the country’s infrastructure, will visibly deteriorate. There is little evidence of political will or leadership for fundamental reforms. All other things being equal, the U.S. will become a post industrial neo-3rd-world country by 2022.
Paul Hart December 04, 2011 at 09:18 PM
If Dickens was still alive, he would have joined the protest.
Ralph W December 04, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Glad you covered this and I look at this as less a protest and more a statement from concerned citizens about our present day situation. There are so many things that give the sense we are moving backward. But this is not inevitable and we can choose a future that is more fair for everyone. The main focus of the Occupy protests is to press for fairness and genuine opportunities. But the fact is that beyond this Christmas season the themes of the Dicken's protest in Port Jeff may need to be raised again. There was a good response from many to this message yesterday during the festival and thanks again for covering it.
Get Off My Lawn December 05, 2011 at 11:33 PM
Whether you agree with the grievances of the ‘Occupy’ movement or not, the fact that protest groups are now being designated as domestic terrorists underscores the fact that governments now treat dissent and the exercise of freedoms as a suspicious activity. Yet weren’t we told the terrorists attacked us because they hate our freedoms? It appears as if the terrorists have won.


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