So, stubborn, redneck, conservatives outside of the city limits, wealthy, hippie, liberals within.
I see protests and local programing dedicated to promoting the destruction of all things conservative on a regular basis. My family has always viewed me as the liberal of the clan, but living down here, I stand out as a conservative. Nice dichotomy huh?
The first protest I witnessed was in an upscale shopping area called the Arboretum about 4 years ago. There was 20 or so people, mostly women blocking traffic in front of the Renaissance Hotel. They all held signs that said things like 9-11 didn't come from Iraq, Impeach Bush, End War, etc. Just really not the best venue and honestly it seemed disjointed from the things they were protesting. Considering W was former governor...maybe the capitol building, Camp Mabry Air Force Base or any place would have seemed more appropriate.
So there are protesters being organized by the NAACP to go against a shopping mall in town. http://www.news8austin.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=237338 The mall closed last weekend during the UT relays. For some reason I don't understand, the relays bring in the gang banger crowd. I'm not talking about just a normal black person, I mean scary lock your doors as a grown man mother f*@%ers. They are everywhere that would normally be a black hang out. Spiro, a black club downtown also closed its doors and claimed to turn away 3000 people. Most companies didn't release reasons and those that did were lame, but it's obvious what's going on. They have problems with militant loitering and shop lifting from the hoards of teenagers that come to follow the high schools and colleges that are in the relays. Clubs down town are flooded with minors. It really isn't racist considering the typical crowd in the locations that closed. It's practical for profitability to not serve minors drinks and have kids shop lift and scare normal customers. Fine I'm white and don't fully get it, but it seems stupid.
Then there are the folks protesting our new recycling program that started last year. We've been able to have these huge blue containers for curb side pick up with all recycling products from containers to cardboard and everything in between. I literally have one bag of trash a week now that we can recycle nearly everything. They call it single stream recycling and they pick up the blue bins every other week along with our weekly trash bins. Many cities in Texas use the same company as Austin. The difference is, Austin signed a short contract that doesn't pay back as much as a long term contract does in Dallas and San Antonio. So folks are protesting that Austin has done it's part and city leaders have let them down. We have to be saving $$$ on waste management in general. And the idea that we are getting money at all for someone collecting and sorting our recyclables is fantastically surprising. They want to fight this? A liberal city wants to fight an easy to participate in recycling program that pays us money? The alternative if I'm not mistaken would be the 41% increase in recycling dropping to single digits and us to all load down our land fills with recyclables. I swear, they just want to protest something. Barack is in power so they can't hate the president like they used to. What ever are they to do...god forbid they have to contribute to the community instead of finding new ways for tax payers to throw their money away. Damn I sound bitter, this wonderful city is crushing my spirit and at the same time, I never want to leave.