I am a great-grandmother who has made several visits to the Occupy San Francisco encampment. I was there from midnight to 3 a.m. on one occasion. I saw mostly young people, many who graduated from college but cannot find a job and still live at home, or like the 18-year-old woman who ran out of college money after one semester and is just hoping Starbucks will not think she is too unkempt to be hired. (I told her where to shower.)
Sure, there were drugs, alcohol and troublemakers, but the camp is a snapshot of America and whatever you find in any city you would find there.
I met others of the 99 percent who support the occupiers. Maybe they come occasionally to bring food. One woman brought gluten-free cookies made with almond flour and warned everybody not to eat it if they had a nut allergy.
So you basically could find whatever you were looking for there. Your newspaper reporter was looking for “nuts” to sensationalize, and another visitor was warning about nut allergies.
Terrrie Frye, San Francisco
The physical toll of football
In your Thursday story, “Rathman has run game rolling,” 49ers running backs coach Tom Rathman was quoted, “When we win, we want to dominate. We want to take guys out. We want to hurt guys.”
Right next to the Rathman story was an item about NFL Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg having Parkinson’s disease.
How many concussions did Rathman have during his career? Does he think it’s impossible that he might be in Gregg’s situation someday? How about the players he coaches? Or the opposing players he wants them to hurt?
Does thinking about these questions ruin anybody else’s Sundays?
Albert Alioto, San Francisco
Anarchists aren’t vandals
As an anarchist, I believe in the extreme decentralization of political power. I certainly don’t believe in vandalism. So I deeply resent it when vandals who hide in crowds to break windows anonymously are labeled anarchists.
Such people also infiltrate demonstrations in France. The French call them “casseurs” (breakers).
Anarchism is a legitimate political philosophy. Anarchists aren’t vandals, and vandals aren’t anarchists.
Mohandas Ah, San Francisco