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Occupy Wall Street, Day 10

danps's picture

One of my refrains this year has been "we are the media." Meaning, it's important for us to build up our own outlets than it is to complain about what big corporate outlets are doing. So with that in mind, #occupywallstreet posts will have a strong bias in favor of those lesser trafficked outlets providing real reporting and analysis. Links from Pravda, Izvestia et. al. will go towards the end unless they provide some truly unique, compelling and indispensable reporting.

I haven't found much from the scene so far this morning, but it appears Liberty Plaza is still occupied and the General Assembly is quietly going about its work. Huzzah! Here are some recent links.

fuelnyc has done a phenomenal job of reporting from Twitter. Pictures are regularly updated here.

Lots of pictures here, but with a heavy emphasis on the "cops vs. kids" angle. As lambert pointed out, a police brutality narrative is a losing one; a nonviolent occupation narrative is a winner. If everything calms down for the next few days and the occupation grows and gains strength, that's a huge win. It will also show tremendous resilience on the part of the organizers by successfully resisting an attempt to hijack the story they have been telling.

Conor Tomás Reed writes that "for those who may have only encountered the aspirations of Liberty Plaza and Co. from a computer screen, this dazzling picture can remain a bit time-lagged, grainy, and all-too-flat. At worst, it might even appear to be chaotically doomed, a political liability. As a result, the big secret is that the political event of the year is catching New York City's hundreds of broad left groups by complete surprise." He also writes about Joe Burns' Reviving the Strike, which gets some attention from MadtownAnnie too.

Katrina Orlowski on why big media outlets are having trouble covering the story. On a similar note, Allison Kilkenny on the snotty coverage from The Paper Of Record (emph. hers):

I'm reminded of Matthew Prowless, a 40-year-old father of two, who attended the Occupy Wall Street protest, and who is as unassuming of a man as I've ever seen – not someone who would have caught Bellafante's gaze. He wore a baseball cap and stood with his friend by a group of black bloc protesters, who Matthew was eyeing curiously like they were exotic fish in an aquarium.

[snip]

For every batshit crazy quote Bellafante presents, I can match it with a calm, articulate response from another attendee. I guarantee that. However, that's not the point. I'm not a believer in the "perfect objectivity" goal for journalists because it's impossible to ever obtain. Human beings inherently possess prejudices and biases that blind them to aspects of reality. Bellafante is less likely to see the Matthews. I'm less likely to see the black bloc.

Yet we risk much when we traipse into this false equivalency territory. The two approaches I've described above aren't given level platforms in our society. Bellafante reaches a far, far larger readership, and the ones who dismiss protesters always do because their corporate overlords love depicting protesters as flower-waving, stoned-out-of-their-gourds hippies. If you think those are the only people on your side, why get off the couch at all?

Elizabeth Flock reports on how the show of force on Saturday has heartened the folks at Liberty Park:

Guy Steward, 18, told amNew York newspaper that after the "mass police brutality" of Saturday, "morale is as high as it can be" and that the protesters ranks have grown.

Protesters have been reinvigorated in part by videos shared that show people being maced and arrested on and around Wall Street.

And it looks like other cities are beginning to stir. Drop your links and thoughts in the comments!

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I put this is the thread upstairs, but I think it belongs here
Occupy Wall Street

As far as police brutality, it happened. It is not a narrative, it is a fact. That pepper spray video is the modern day equivalent to the police dogs attacking demonstrators in Birmingham Alabama. And men never look good attacking women. That part of the video will not be lost on the public. It happened. Police brutality is a criminal offense and I hope that women presses charges. We can't get so wrapped in stuff like narrative that we lose sight or reality.

danps's picture
Submitted by danps on

You're right about not giving proper attention to instances of police brutality. I just hope the folks there redouble their efforts to make sure the occupation continues to be nonviolent.

Submitted by lambert on

It's so revealing that the only breakthrough to Big Media coverage came with violence.

Definitely from the Barcalounger! I keep coming back to the idea that a reputation for non-violence is a strategic asset. I don't think I'm a goody two-shoes about this; I want to win. I just think that NV is (a) the way to win and (b) the way to win without becoming what we oppose

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

Interesting to note that inside the Park, nobody really was talking about the brutality. There was talk of bail organizing, and getting all the arrested protesters out of jail. But no dwelling on the violence. In part, perhaps, because the cops are everywhere around the perimeter ( the ones I saw seemed pretty benign and friendly) and certainly it isn't smart to start foregrounding your rage against them.

But I got a sense that everyone would rather just, you know, move forward and not dwell on the violent encounters. When I asked one woman if she was worried that the cops might move in to break up the occupation later than night when it was dark and no visitors were around, she just shrugged.

"I don't want to think like that. Because, well, I just don't want to live inside of the fear."

Submitted by lambert on

That's exactly it. Newsday:

All week, the camp of mostly young adults had formed a functioning community, complete with a library of books and newspapers and a pantry area regularly replenished with pizza.

That is the story. Self-organization.

Submitted by jawbone on

this generation is different from those before them. Pretty interesting, and fits what Ms. ExPat observed.

MORLEY WINOGRAD: .... [T]his is the largest generation in American history. There's 95 million millennials born between 1982 and 2003.

They are all becoming adults and which will have a major impact on our politics, but also on all of the institutions of America. They're the most diverse generation in American history. And their unified beliefs are going to change the way America thinks.

Snip

MICHAEL HAIS: They are different because, unlike earlier generations, they are oriented toward one another, toward the group, towards society. They are not driven by individual desires or individual values.

It's true they have very strong, passionate beliefs, but they are also highly pragmatic. They work with one another to solve their own problems as a group, but also writ large the problems and concerns of society and the nation.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Morley Winograd, what you write about in this book is how this generation will be remaking America. What are some of the important things you see them doing to change the direction of this country?

MORLEY WINOGRAD: The most important thing is this generation's ability to generate change from the bottom up, and to do so with individual action at the local level.

They are absolutely committed to improving the country and perfectly happy with the country setting goals and laying out ambitions of what it wants to accomplish. But when it comes to actually doing those things, millennials will provide the same kind of disruptive energy that we have seen in the Arab spring, that we saw in the Napster revolution of the music industry.

This is a generation that is going to shake up every institution that thinks it can be run top-down.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Mike Hais, give us a couple of examples of changes you see this generation making.

MICHAEL HAIS: Well, in all sorts of areas, in entertainment, for example, the style and tone of American entertainment is going to change from kind of the harsh, rap-oriented type of music that we're used to, to a softer, but much more optimistic kind of music.

In sports, we are going to see a generation that's going to change from kind of the individualism of, say, a Barry Bonds to the team play of a Dustin Pedroia in baseball.

JUDY WOODRUFF: What about in terms of the workplace?

MORLEY WINOGRAD: In the workplace, they present enormous challenge for those who think that this is a place where you control what happens and you supervise closely.

They're interested in opening up corporate life, in involving their friends in those decisions, whether they work for the company or not. And they're not about to respect authority or command-and-control in the workplace any more than they do in other parts of their life. And so this generation is already creating great challenges, but also bringing great energy to the work force.

JUDY WOODRUFF: We are, of course, in a major economic disruption right now in this country. We have come out of a recession, but times are tough, high unemployment. How does this generation see the role of government and how do you see them handling dealing with, Mike Hais, high unemployment, just tough economy?

MICHAEL HAIS: Well, first of all, with regard to government, they certainly see a role, a major role for government. They believe very strongly -- a majority of millennials believe, for example, in a government that provides important services, that is not withdrawn from the economic system.

But they don't see government providing big, huge bureaucracies. Rather, they see government almost as a parent providing guidance, overall policies, which as millennials, they will work with one another and more at the local level to figure out a way of implementing those policies. So government provides guidelines. It may provide resources, but millennials will work with one another at the local level to implement those policies.

Link for video and transcript.