Daily Archives: September 21st, 2011

Occupy Wall Street with or without MSM – Days 4/5

Updated from here.

We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence, or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. ~Martin Luther King Jr. delivered 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City

Whatever Occupy Wall Street is, it is full of people willing to work hard and suffer at downright insulting odds, to try create something better for people. There is pizza. They have blankets. The medic appears promptly when someone twists an ankle. Looking up from the plaza one sees only vast towers of wealth; looking round about one sees a struggle. Maybe they are having fun. Maybe it’s misery. Probably it’s both. Whatever it is, it exists where it did not before, which is always a marvel. ~Joel Chaffee, Common Dreams, Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some of you may know Kevin Zeese, above, as a Facebook friend. He’s a devoted activist for change in America, discussing in the video our plight with the media and plugging an upcoming event, October2011.org, a non-violent, anti-war occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 6, 2011.

Building on what we already have in place, not waiting for the media to announce, “Coming soon to a protest near you!” seems like a smart move toward hastening solidarity. But fizzled efforts and false starts aside, the movement to change what’s ailing us is underway and it’s not going to stop just because the media ignores it. Whiners, complainers and activists alike – we can all do something to help energize those marching on Wall Street today.

And though it’s been a tough day or two, they’re still there and doing the best they can with no thanks to good ole American coverage. I find it terribly disturbing that the reporting and articles not slanted to demean protest efforts are coming from international sources and bloggers. Even Rachel Maddow didn’t cover Occupy Wall Street. Her guest, Michael Moore, brought it up quite incidentally while commenting on his new book.

Daily Kos had a thing or two to say about it yesterday, though:

And what could possibly be more embarrassingly unsavvy than taking seriously the ambitions of a band of granola-eating missed-the-60s dirty bleeping hippie wannabes — crazy enough to think that they can change the world.

And so actually changing the world is something that only happens halfway around the world, in places like Cairo.

It can’t happen here.

Maybe some editors somewhere can put down their slice of Ray’s Pizza for a minute and think about the news brownout in lower Manhattan in the context of Tahrir Square, and what are the big-picture things that are really important in America in 2011. Like deep unrest over the wrong track this nation is headed down.  Maybe one or two of those newsroom chiefs will be ashamed at how it’s played out so far, but I kind of doubt it.

“The space was not surrendered.
To the Party of Wall Street: see that light at the end of the tunnel? It’s a train.

And that, my friends, is what democracy looks like.

The video below shows the kind of coverage that I think turns people away from critical issues. There’s no encouragement to it. Both sides are talking, but it’s just a time-slot partisan argument indirectly promoting division.

Aside from the fact that the protesters on Wall Street are persevering, there is some other good news. “Samuel Cohen, a civil rights lawyer with the firm Wylie Law, offered pro bono assistance to the activists stating, “Our top priority is in being sure this is allowed to continue. What these people are doing really is the essence of the First Amendment.”
That alone is a good reason to get involved:

One setback that happened yesterday – for whatever reason – is that Yahoo admittedly blocked transmission of all emails relating to “OccupyWallSt”, a hash tag for communicating protest information. Later in the day they said it was an accident, and that it would take some time to get it straight. Not being able to anticipate and adjust their spam filters by day 4 in a situation like this reflects some technological incompetence at best, if in fact that’s what happened.

There’s also been a bigger dose of the NYPD for the protesters to contend with lately – some arrests, some injuries, and what seems like a lot of harassment. If they haven’t had a chance to get their second wind, some may not stay the night or come back tomorrow. But somehow, even in their calls for reinforcement, they seem to be getting more determined. I hope that’s the case. And I hope they’re feeling some justified satisfaction.

Outside in the cold Tuesday morning, the demonstrators continued their fourth day of the protest with a march amidst a heavy police presence and the ringing of an opening bell at 9:30 a.m. for a “people’s exchange,” just as the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange is rung. While the bankers remained secure in their bailed-out banks, outside, the police began arresting protesters. In a just world, with a just economy, we have to wonder, who would be out in the cold? Who would be getting arrested? ~Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now!

And yet … here’s how the protests and our first amendment right to peaceably assemble are being framed by neoliberals: “American radicals are planning hundreds of simultaneous violent uprisings to topple our system of capitalism … I’m talking about anti-capitalist terrorists in our own country.” ~Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise

An Invitation for the Weekend from OccupyWallStreet: Come take the square with us at Liberty Plaza.