Showing posts with label protests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label protests. Show all posts

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Verses the Real Enemy

If this blog accomplishes nothing in its existence, I feel it my duty to at least help make sure everyone sees this video. This is the police response to a demonstration at Northern California’s UC Davis, Friday.

In a reaction to the college’s leadership in the run up to this action, UCD’s faculty association asked the University’s Chancellor, Linda Katehi, to resign. In an eerie show of solidarity with protesters, students linked arms and lined the road for three blocks, outside the building in which the Chancellor was speaking. This was the Chancellors walk to her car.

On the few occasions that I make predictions, I usually get it wrong. So to increase my odds, this time, I’m predicting something that has already happened. I’m predicting that the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has already won. How? Let me borrow the people’s microphone for a moment.

News editors love to deliver stories that fit what they believe their audiences want to hear. Unfortunately, nothing of the OWS story fits into the old narratives that the media has been pumping out lately. Fox News tries to make the protesters out to be criminals - hard to do with videos like the ones above (or this). Rachel Maddow tries to make the protesters out to be a branch of the young democrats but I’m pretty sure the students unable to get jobs are as unhappy with Obama as they are with banks.

Correspondents can’t do an exposé on the protesters list of demands because as of this writing, the leaders of this movement haven’t issued any. This oversight has been identified as a tactical error by critics, but I believe, this lack of goals is intentional and, at the moment, one of the movements strengths. The end game for the occupiers is not to get some bit of legislation passed, or to get some slick candidate elected. Instead, I think, the goal is to change the entire national debate, for months maybe even for years to come. And so far it’s working. In September the news was full of stories about which politician was willing to cut the most to balance the budget. These last couples of months have been packed with stories debating the economic inequalities that are occurring throughout the world.

Journalists must hate this movement. Editors dislike any story where the headline includes the word “still,” as in “the protesters still occupy the park.” This does not make a good narrative because there is no change. If there is no change, there is no story to tell. The difficult thing for these old reporters to understand, is that “the story” IS that “there is no change.” Every day protesters remain in the parks, the true story (the one the media doesn’t have the ability to tell) actually gets more remarkable. Every day that passes, illustrates the resolve of the protesters. Every day that passes, illustrates that the inequalities in our society, still have not been corrected. Every day that passes, the nation is reminded that innocent people are still suffering in this economy. But there is nothing more a reporter can write about this, because nothing has changed. The protesters are still there. The problems are still there. The true story is still there. This breaking news, just in, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

Now here is my narrative. Here is the spin I’ll put on OWS. The occupiers have won. They have beaten the enemy - No, not Wall Street. The Occupy Movement isn’t really protesting Wall Street. The enemy that the occupiers are fighting is - the media. The occupy movement is really protesting the news media’s coverage of Wall Street (or more correctly the news media’s lack of coverage of how corrupt Wall Street is. And OWS has won hands down. They have won by forcing the media to change the narrative. The international mega world media is not an easy entity to manipulate but tragic and compelling images like these are changing the balance of power every day, one seemingly uneventful day at a time.