Occupy Wall Street, Day 10
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.
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.
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.
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!