Since the Occupy Wall Street protest is growing by the day, with ongoing developments, this post will serve as an open thread for news and opinions related to the Occupy Wall Street protests.
It began as an internet-generated sit-in type protest, intended as a reflection of the democratic protests in Egypt and the Middle East, where the people of a nation came together to demand change from being oppressed by a powerful and wealthy elite. It was and is decentralized as true populist movements often are (they don’t have corporate and media sponsorship, you listening Tea Party?).
Initially, the corporately owned Mainstream Media, which covers Tea Party events attended by a less than a dozen oddballs, used the tactic of ignoring the protest to bury it. Then, after the YouTube video of police brutality against the peaceful protestors, specifically, the macing of young women who were helplessly penned in by police at the time, the MSM was forced to report on and recognize the protest but did so by ridiculing and trying to trivialize those participating in it, as whale and tree hugging hippies that don’t even know why they’re doing what they’re doing.
As more and more validation pushed back on this campaign to smother awareness and validity of the protest, greater coverage on more Progressive-friendly outlets grew and a large march took place. It resulted in the possibly illegal arrest of 700 people as they crossed the Brooklyn Bridge. This march and arrest was covered as the day’s top news story and obliterated the legitimacy of the MSM’s campaign to portray the protest as irrelevant and the participants as just a few nutty college brats…but that campaign continues for some in the MSM anyway.
In the aftermath of this march, companion protests began popping up around the nation, in 399 cities as of today (423 worldwide) according to Occupy Together, an unofficial organizing and clearing house site for these protests.
Another march has been taking place today in NY, the largest yet which is currently estimated at 10,000 to 17,000 people, joined by Chinatown Tenants Union, the Transit Workers Union and community organizations like the Working Families Party. Also, MoveOn.org is sponsoring an online protest and United NY. Organizers called for students at college campuses across the nation to walk out of class in protest.
As mentioned above, none of this however derails the continued but disqualified propaganda in the MSM to try and marginalize this growing movement. The latest meme which seems to be repeated by Wall Street and MSM hacks alike is that this protest IS NOT a legitimate populist movement like the Tea Party (huh?) and is instead more like the non-mainstream anarchic protests by radical youth against the World Bank, capitalism and reality. There is also a growing propaganda meme that the Wall Street protestors “clashed” with police and that “as opposed to protests in other cities, these protestors in Los Angeles say they want a peaceful protest” (BTW, this was reported on MSNBC)…the takeaway of course is to brand this protest as mindless and violent.
IMO, these continuing propagandist attempts to disqualify what is now a national protest that may already be bigger than the current membership of the Tea Party, are futile and desperate. It may also be a form of denial in those who simply don’t want to believe that a popular uprising is going on. These types actually believe that the message of, “We need to stop corporate greed from destroying us” can be spun into being an extremist and goofball sensibility.
Aside from the criticism on the Left that there is no specific set of demands, there needs to be more focus and leadership, the Occupy Wall Street movement doesn’t have to be a conventional protest. It can instead be what it seems to have evolved into, a philosophical umbrella under which most Americans can come together. Then, once unified, the majority that is being ignored on many issues by its government, chiefly by Republicans, will have the power and presence that requires attention and action on their pressing issues.
Bottom line, Occupy Wall Street is about the empowerment of the people over the top 1%. As hard as it is for most Americans to unite behind the same specific issue, there is a brilliance in getting people to unite behind a general issue that is the cause of most of the more specific issues.
There is no knowing at this point if this phenomena will continue to grow into a full fledged and influential movement of the people, by the people and for the people but at this point, it is an exciting prospect.