NEW YORK (Frameshop) – One of the most common reactions to the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) has been for media and politicians to ask “What is it about?” Former Republican Gov. Gary Johnson is the latest visitor to Zuccotti Park to take this approach. Curiously, though, there is another version of this “What is it about?” meme emerging in the form of questions that ask “What is the difference between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street?”
As it happens, what is going on in OWS and how to distinguish the Tea Party from OWS are both possible with a fair degree of certainty. The key is to introduce two basic terms to set the stage for discussion.
NEW YORK (Frameshop) – Barney Frank has added his voice to the chorus of Democrats trying to close their eyes and ignore Occupy Wall Street by (OWS) with the false argument that real change only happens when people vote. Speaking to Rachel Maddow, Frank offered this nugget which passes for Washington wisdom, these days:
NEW YORK (Frameshop) – One of the initial goals of non-violent street-level protest is to elicit from the status quo the very problem targeted by the movement. March against colonial repression: elicit repressive colonial violence. March against racism: elicit brutal racist violence. March for women’s rights: elicit misogynistic hatred. The examples are endless. Almost every protest movement achieves this same initial goal because the status quo targeted always resorts initially to the very tools that keep the status quo in place: ridicule, disdain, violence.
NEW YORK (Frameshop) – One of the aspects of the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) the mainstream media has failed to grasp is the extent to which it has generated an almost continuous string of protest innovations, some of which reveal a great deal about the issues motivating people.
One example are the “We are the 99%” self-portraits circulating the internet. As of the writing of this post, a site by that name has collected almost 1,000 of those self-portraits, all of which follow the same general format: a person posing with a hand-written or typed note describing the personal devastation the American economy has visited upon their lives.
NEW YORK – If you have been following the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS), by now you have heard the question “What is the message?”–posed sometimes nicely, often aggressively. This is often followed by some variation of “they have no message.”
Let me clear this up right now, because the message of this first stage of OWS has been crystal clear. The message is: “Join us.” Also, that message has been received from sea to shining sea, as the saying goes. The proof is in the pudding, or in this case: the proof is in the fact that the one OWS event has not spread to dozens of events and marches, with many more in the offing.
But wait a sec: if I get this, and you get this, why are so many people not getting this?