EDITOR: Like many other Sonoma County residents, I have been watching with interest the tent village of Occupy Santa Rosa. This past weekend I spent Friday morning and Saturday afternoon getting a closer look.

There was much to see: some 35 tents, a busy information table and an even busier free food buffet. I was looking for the "incoherent unwashed rabble" mentioned in a recent letter to The Press Democrat ("Failing socialism," Letters, Saturday). Instead I found serious young people dressed sensibly for the weather in jeans and jackets. They and some other persons who I believe were homeless were enjoying the free food and the chance to play chess or just hang out.

On Saturday afternoon, there were demonstrators with a variety of messages. I spoke with a psychology professor from Santa Rosa Junior College, a doctor from Kaiser and a physical therapist from Tone. To my surprise, I saw a friend from Fort Bragg who comes down every weekend to express her concern.

During my visit, I saw a few folks who seemed to need mental health assistance, but the great majority of demonstrators and observers in Occupy Santa Rosa impressed me as responsible citizens wanting to have their voices heard.


Santa Rosa