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Controversy over a Song about Occupy D.C.

There has been a lot of controversy around the Occupy movement and much of the debate has been about what they stand for. For a few months, Occupy groups have been active across the country and many individuals have been arrested. Some Conservatives have decided to take action and protest against Occupy D.C.

For months, the parks have not been clean and rats and infestations have been taking place. To avoid clashes between the U.S. Park Police and the Occupiers, the Park Police planned for weeks how to avoid violence when it came time to ask everyone to evacuate their overnight campsites in the two Occupy sites in DC. According to the Washington Post, “The protesters were given plenty of notice about the planned police action, and the U.S. Park Police, as was made clear in The Post’s news accounts, showed restraint and discipline in dealing with protesters.

Few people continue to protest at the sites, but it is not the end of the Occupy Movement.  The movement has inspired a song, which has created a huge controversy between some partisans on the conservative side and an elementary school in Charlottesville, Virginia. The song, by a student at the elementary school, is titled “Part of the 99.” According to the Huffington Post article written by Laura Hibbard, “Kid Pan Alley Helps Students Write Pro-Occupy Song, Sparking National Controversy”, the song was composed as part of a program to teach students how to express their opinions about current events in music. The program is a project of Paul Reisler, songwriter, composer, and founder of Kid Pan Alley. Reisler helps students create songs on topics of their choice. The results have attracted a huge amount of criticism. This controversy has not actually outraged the Charlottesville School Board; Board Chair Steve Koleszar who told Carter Johnson, a reporter of “”They don’t censor what the kids write. They don’t shape what the kids write. It all comes out of the kids own mouths and the kids own words,”

On the other hand,’s article, titled “Va. Third Graders Forced to Sing Pro-Occupy Song” put a negative spin on the situation. The word “Forced” can mean everything. Fox invited Andrew Breitbart, a well-known conservative blogger, to respond.  Breitbart has asked the Governor of Virginia to take action on Kid Pan Alley. ©

It is important to understand that artists create in response to current events. Kid Pan Alley really helps youth learn about what is going on in their society. Even if some people might not like the fact that what grabbled their attention this time was the Occupy movement, which has the slogan, “We are the 99 percent”.