and London’s maverick mayor, Boris Johnson, concurred. “An excellent point has been made” by the protesters, he said, “but having made their point, it’s time for them to move on.”
I think this attitude is what has made "democracy" in The West(tm) a pale shadow of itself. The point of protest is not to simply be seen and move along. I say that elections serve that purpose. An election is a form of protest. One shows up, marks a ballot indicating what one's issue is and who you think is best able to represent those interests in the established government. Then one goes home and hopes for the best.
However a protest happens when the results of the ballot fail to meet the expectations of the public or a lack of satisfactory response from whatever established governing body to the will of the people. At that point the public takes to the street to let those in power understand that they are not doing what the people put them in office to do and that until they do so the people are going to make things "inconvenient".
If you note the pattern to all the disruptions of recent "occupy" protests, the basis of these disruptions have been "public safety" and "rights of others to not be "inconvenienced". This is a total crock and an "official" way for the state to bypass the right of the people to protest. People do not have "the right to not be inconvenienced". The public is inconvenienced whenever a head of state shows up in their neighborhood. Nobody asks them before hand whether it's OK by them to have their streets blocked off. When movies are shot on location, nobody asks the neighbors whether they mind. The city (or state) simply ups and decides for them. To make matters worse, the city gets paid to make this decision with absolutely no input from the citizens who will actually be affected by these events. Even worse no citizen of an effected area can go to City Hall and demand that whatever "officially blessed" event be stopped immediately due to "inconvenience". This same city apparatus wants to turn around and claim that protestors "wrong" for inconveniencing others with their protests over the government not doing what the people asked it to do?
But this is how those in power manage to kick aside the people. The whole, "OK you've had your say now go home" attitude rather than "exactly what can we do to address your concerns?" attitude is exactly why the protesters are out there in the first place.
Consider this: Just a few months ago, London was burning. When that was happening the persons involved were called all kinds of nasty things. Politicians went out of their way to say that such looting and burning was an inappropriate way to vent anger and frustration. They went out of their way to arrest the "hooligans" and "low lives" and "gang members" they caught on tape. They went to RIM in an attempt to find out who was sending messages and proposed laws to shut down the internet in case such events happened again. Now when people decide to peacefully sit down in public while posing no danger to anyone (despite the health and safety claims) or anybody's property. Those in charge want to malign these people as well. You cannot have it both ways. Protests are not convenient. That is the entire point of protesting. It is to highlight that the present conditions are "inconvenient" and they're going to spread the "inconvenience" to those who think they are above everything and everybody. If those in office and elsewhere do not like the "inconvenience" I suggest addressing the issues. That usually works.