The protesters began arriving Saturday, September 17th; anywhere between 500 to 2,000 activists depending whom you believe, swarming Manhattan’s financial sector in an operation they called Occupy Wall Street.
Their goal, to put it simply, was to bring reform to the country’s financial structure – to end corporate greed and reduce the gap between the rich and the poor – things that every president has failed to do in the last several decades.
Inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings, they had vowed to occupy Wall Street for weeks, even months.
And when the media finally did bother to report on it again after the fifth day of occupation, it took on a very condescending tone, especially the New York Times piece.
The group’s lack of cohesion and its apparent wish to pantomime progressivism rather than practice it knowledgably is unsettling in the face of the challenges so many of its generation face — finding work, repaying student loans, figuring out ways to finish college when money has run out. But what were the chances that its members were going to receive the attention they so richly deserve carrying signs like “Even if the World Were to End Tomorrow I’d Still Plant a Tree Today”?
But the Times piece emphasized exactly what is going on in this country.
People are pissed off but the media, corporations and politicians are just not getting it or just don’t care to get it.
Perhaps the protesters’ message is convoluted.
Perhaps it does not get condensed into a one-page press release to simplify it for reporters.
Perhaps the issues facing our country today are a little too complex to summarize in a couple of sound bites.
But what is taking place in New York as we speak and what will take place this afternoon in Occupy Seattle is part of an ongoing movement that is just now finding its voice.
The truth is, it will never be just one voice, but many voices. And that can be thwarting for journalists who are so dependent on flacks to provide them information.
Unlike previous demonstrations against corporate greed, this has remained relatively peaceful – no broken shop windows or overturned cop cars – which is why the media didn’t find it too exciting.
It wasn’t until a week into the protest when police began making mass arrests that the media started covering it in earnest.
But by then, it didn’t really matter because the protesters were doing a fine job of disseminating information themselves through Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
Not suprisingly, NYPD began targeting photographers, according to Gothamist:
Witnesses, including our own photographer, tell us that the NYPD has been specifically targeting photographers and videographers for arrest. Two protestors who were maintaining the live video feed of the protests were arrested on Saturday, the first claiming that she was detained solely because she was holding a camera. “Those are the first people the police go after,” protest organizer Patrick Bruner tells us. “They’re always the first to get held up.”ore than 80 protesters on Saturday on baseless charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
More than 80 people were arrested on Saturday, mostly on baseless charges like disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, which are the old standby charges when a crime has not been committed.
Below are just a handful of videos that are making the rounds on the internet. They’ve all received hundreds of thousands of views in only a matter of days, proving that the mainstream media is becoming more obsolete with each passing day.
The first three videos show the typical overly aggressive tactics used by police to crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, including one where an officer wearing a white shirt pepper sprays a pair of women for no reason.
Activists determined that officer was NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna.
And the fourth video is a series of conversations with protesters as to what exactly they are trying to accomplish.
It’s too bad the New York Times didn’t bother to interview those people.