October 06, 2011
Occupy Athens, GA?
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

The life of a law professor in Athens, GA is generally pretty sedate.  You brace yourself for the thousands of fans that descend on football weekends, but otherwise day-to-day life is predictable and calm.

So, on my 4-minute commute to work, I was surprised to see this:

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Yes, folks, Occupy Wall Street has an Athens, GA edition.

So, all intrepid prawf journalist, I walked over to talk.  I got pretty much what I was expecting from Carter: little agenda, lots of catchy slogans.  "Corporate control of our government is ruining the lives of 99% of Americans."  "The government is not being run by the people anymore."  "Both parties are for sale.  Voice your dissent."  They are supporting the Wall Street occupiers and hope to raise awareness, and eventually money for food to send to their NY compatriots. Facebook and Twitter organizing.  No demands.  Protest.

I told Carter I was a corporate law professor at the University and he asked me whose side I was on.  A little taken aback, I answered, "Corporations."  Mostly because I had been thinking of this Onion t-shirt.  The shirt is funny because who loves corporations?  Answer: corporate law professors--even progressive ones, I think--because we're just fascinated by them.  And because I don't think the corporate form is inherently evil. 

I'm fascinated by how the public perceives corporations.  In general, no one likes corporations (see t-shirt above).  But today the big news is the death of Steve Jobs.  One man, through one company, changed how we see the world.  I can't help think that the Wall Street/Athens protesters wouldn't tar Apple with the same corporate brush as Citi or ExxonMobil. 

In any event, Occupy Athens GA has a permit to protest (no tents, no blocking traffic) until Jan. 1.  This is your Athens, GA corporate law professor on College Avenue, signing off.  With this picture of a cute little "debt serf."

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