We remain skeptical about the “Occupy” wherever/whatever movement, here in Maine and around the country. What’s the point? What are these folks trying to achieve? What’s the end game? Is there, in fact, a point? A goal?

Whenever the media reports that the occupiers’ purpose is unclear, of course, we get a flurry of complaints from their supporters insisting that the protesters’ goals are clear as crystal. OK, but from where we’re sitting, the crystal looks cloudy.

Frankly, we’re inclined to think the apparent vagueness of the movement will eventually cause it to wilt and fade away, or collapse under the weight of unfulfilled promise.

But the far greater danger to the movement’s survival is the ugly turn toward anarchy and violence that has disrupted demonstrations in some parts of the country — most recently, and most disturbingly, in Oakland, Calif.

More about that momentarily. But first, we pause to congratulate participants in the Occupy Maine incarnation of the Occupy Wall Street movement for conducting themselves in a restrained and responsible manner, and for disavowing the turmoil that has cropped up elsewhere.

As reported in Friday’s Press Herald, protesters encamped in Portland’s Lincoln Park say they have no intention of engaging in violent protest and reject the notion that violence would be helpful in promoting their cause.

Asked about the Oakland violence by Staff Writer Dennis Hoey, one Occupy Maine participant replied: “It’s very upsetting to see that the people we are fighting for are fighting against us.”

Back to them.

It’s hard to tell from news reports who, or what, provoked the violence in Oakland. It’s seems entirely possible that the troublemakers weren’t part of the protest movement at all, that they were thugs who wanted to fight with police and turn a peaceful demonstration into a riot. Oakland, the Associated Press reported, is “a unique place with a long history of tensions between residents and police.”

We’ve said it before but it bears repeating. If peaceful protesters such as those in Maine want to make a positive impact with their message, they must guard against being infiltrated by those who harbor less noble motives.

The American people won’t put up with much more of what we saw in Oakland.