Since the weekend, the amount of media coverage has increased substantially. The discussion of it all seems to be evolving among the commentators, hacks and pundits in the establishment media. It used to be that the occupiers were disorganized. That has had little effect on the ability of the movement to grow.
Then the issue of disorganization became an issue about a lack of demands. Members of the media requested demands as if the occupiers somehow are holding the economy or US politics hostage and they must produce so something can be done and people can move on. And now, the media is deconstructing the launching of occupations in communities across the country by asking whether what is forming is the “liberal Tea Party” or not.
Nothing captures how the media just doesn’t get it like this question from CNN anchor Susanne Malveaux to CNN Business Correspondent Alison Kosik,
“I understand this is a group that’s kind of a bit disorganized, to say the least. It’s not clear who is actually participating. But tell us who is behind these protests. And really, what are they protesting? What’s the main point here, if there is one?”
The question is garbled amalgamation of all the talking points critics have had toward the occupation. Casting doubt as to whether the occupiers have a point or not is a clear sign of ignorance. The main point could not be more obvious. I’ll give Malveaux a hint. It has to do with Wall Street.
Some in the media do get it. “Countdown” with Keith Olbermann gets it. Two quotes from last night’s program, which was a special “Occupy Wall Street” edition, deserve particular attention. Economist Jeff Madrick of The Roosevelt Institute was on the show. Olbermann asked if there is anything wrong with a movement not sitting there ready with a set of demands. Madrick responded:
There’s a kind of beautiful democracy in all this. And it’s very noticeable. There are people called facilitators. Everybody’s very kind to each other. There’s not a hierarchy and yet there’s an efficient system. Let’s do the teach-in over here. They shout out. There are these shout outs, this echo chamber you’ve talked about. Let’s determine who is going to speak in what order for the General Assembly, as they call it. But there are people with a variety of their own agendas, a variety of their interests. I think in time an agenda will evolve for some of these people. I think there will be splinter groups that follow one piece of the agenda and another piece of the agenda. So, frankly, I think at some point there should be an agenda but I must say I was taken by the kind of beauty of the lack of hierarchy and yet the efficiency and the caring.
Michael Moore also was on the program. Asked if he would have any advice for the occupiers on messaging, this is what Moore said:
I think that what they’re doing—And, actually, I’d rather listen to them. I’d rather take their advice because I’ve been down at their assemblies and I’ve heard some incredible things. They are concerned about the short-term goals: tax the rich, jail the bankers, a moratorium on foreclosures so no one is thrown out of their home, reintroducing real health care bill that covers everyone, truly covers everyone. These are what should be the short-term goals. But the larger long-term goal is these people, especially the young people, do not want to grow up, do not want to live in a society where the upper 1 percent owns everything, including our political system, and the other 99% are supposed to scramble for the crumbs. They reject that system outright and I think what’s going to come out of this is not that a new political party is going to form but a movement that says we are the 99%.
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LIVE STREAM OF OCCUPY WALL STREET VIA GLOBAL REVOLUTION
11:57 PM One last story for today’s live blog: Mayor Mike McGinn of Seattle supports the protesters in Westlake Park seeking to draw attention to the country’s economic situation. He releases a statement.
11:50 PM An Occupy Wall Street film — “99 Percent: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film.”
11:45 PM Police show up with a paddy wagon and at least one police van. They look like they are intent on making arrests of Occupy Seattle protesters but nothing happens.
9:41 PM Economist Richard Wolff speaks to a crowd of thousands in Liberty Park. Read Wolff’s article recently posted by The Guardian.
9:34 PM Communication Workers of America supports Occupy Wall Street
9:11 PM In a post on myFDL, Maria Armoudian, author of Kill the Messenger: The Media’s Role in the Fate of the World, highlights how occupiers (along with other Americans) could channel their anger into developing workers’ cooperatives.
So what are the options for a citizenry that feel set up by expectations of a fair system only to find they have very little voice? Many have turned their anger toward the very wealthy beneficiaries of the system in their “occupation” of Wall Street as a means to demand change in their own occupations and economies. But perhaps there are additional options toward building a better collective occupation that can be even more effective. One would be to use that assembly, energy and time to brainstorm new ways of building a better occupational—or economic system, one that is more just and democratic. For that, we have a number of models to explore. One of them is the cooperative model, a ground-up way of doing business that functions democratically on principles of equality and justice within the workplace. Workers own the company together and vote on the business decisions—one person, one vote.
9:08 PM [un]Common Sense writes at myFDL about going down to check out Occupy Wall Street and why he supports the occupiers:
Few protest movements enjoy perfect clarity about tactics or command widespread support when they begin. That is the nature of subversive action — the majority are unable to envision or follow the paradigm shift using conditioned filters. What’s important at OWS is the raising of awareness and the attracting of others to the cause. The structure develops as this takes root and grows. Dismissing the OWS protests because they lack fully developed, sophisticated messaging or professionalization is like throwing out a child because he can’t read.
8:59 PM A prime example of how the Occupy Wall Street is not, as Van Jones might say, “our people” finally waking up but rather a trans-partisan movement:
8:43 PM Another Dylan Ratigan video, from visit to Liberty Park.
8:35 PM Sen. Bernie Sanders confronts Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Occupy Wall Street.
8:32 PM Occupy Boston earns the support of the Greater Boston Labor Council. More on Occupy Boston’s growing strength here.
8:31 PM Occupy Chicago has entered Phase 2. The police have told them they can no longer sleep or stay in one spot without moving so now they are going to be more mobile and move all around Chicago and not just be at the Federal Reserve.
8:27 PM CNN Business Correspondent Alison Kosik, mentioned in the intro of this live blog, summarizes what the occupiers are about in 140 characters or less and then deletes thinking nobody will see it.
6:16 PM Landed a few hours ago. Visited Occupy DC with Jane Hamsher and shot a series of interviews. The last part features Col. Ann Wright.
6:31 PM MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan at Occupy Wall Street interviewed by We Are Change
6:23 PM Truthout editor William Rivers Pitt pens a creative open letter to Wall Street:
Before anything else, I would like to apologize for the mess outside your office. It’s been three weeks since all those hippies and punk-rockers and students and union members and working mothers and single fathers and airline pilots and teachers and retail workers and military service members and foreclosure victims decided to camp out on your turf, and I’m sure it has been quite an inconvenience for you. How is a person supposed to spend their massive, virtually untaxed bonus money on a double latte and an eight-ball with all that rabble clogging the sidewalks, right?
6:15 PM FDL’s Lisa Derrick of La Figa reports on Day 3 of Occupy LA
6:07 PM Federal judge rules NYPD can force unionized bus drivers to haul away protesters.
6:06 PM Occupy Wall Street bothers/frightens GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. NYT reports:
Greeting an overflow room of voters Tuesday at a community center in The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, Mitt Romney was asked about the protests, and said that he had spoken to the people involved.
“I think it’s dangerous — this class warfare,” Mr. Romney said.
The quote was reported by CBS and The National Journal’s Sarah Boxer, who was in the room at the time and sent Mr. Romney’s response out on Twitter.
6:04 PM Video for #OccupyColleges
6:03 PM First edition of the Occupy Wall Street Journal posted (in PDF form)
9:54 AM Boarding a flight to DC in just a couple hours. I’ll be on the ground covering Occupy DC and beginning October 6, the October 2011 action. Check the comments thread of this live blog for updates on Occupy Wall Street, etc. Follow the Twitter list. Updates will resume later in the afternoon, hopefully.
9:50 AM Nothing but liberal elitism here, from The New Republic, as one would expect. It’s like they mimicked the atrocious NYT report that ran just over a week ago.
9:40 AM Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News reports on his day at Occupy Wall Street