Sunday, October 02, 2011

Occupy Wall Street - 3 Weeks in

So we enter week 3 of Occupy Wall Street. Has it been 3 weeks?  Partly it almost feels like it passes fast, from the comfort of home.  But also the lack of coverage from the start makes me feel vague about just when this began. I do remember a comment or two at the start.  A post here and there. But it was mostly a blip.

And that has been a problem (Just don't tell many of the protest supporters that.), communication out about what was going on. I heard about Occupy Wall Street and had no idea what it was. Some people planned to go an protest the big wigs...aaaaaand?  There are people doing protest all the time, is this a bigger one, what makes it stand out? Is it 5 people on a week long silent vigil? Is it 100 chanting? Is it 1000's...doing something?

You watch protest get setup all the time and you can become inured.  And of course those passionate and engaged in this protest hate that jaded quality, but what am I gonna do? I am not alone in this plenty of old hands in the progressive movement have tried to help and suggest ways to improve the work on the street.  And that has been banefully opposed for a long time.  Suggest contacting media with a formal explanation, is hissed at.  And that causes some sighing on the part of people like me.  It reminds me of a bit of work of Patton Oswalt where the hypothetical hippie wants to protest and want to be so standoffish, and subtle, that the protest is invisible. Not taking advantage of the media to get eyes on you is risky. Most of the time it means you can quietly fade away in the background, or go on years being more or less white noise.

Luckily that has changed. In not so good ways, as some cops have attacked protesters, which just helps the media get its rocks off. So the media is on board, until they get bored again. Then yesterday on the Brooklyn Bridge, the police did some mass arrest. This should get the protesters some later in the news show coverage, but still not stories that will open most news shows.

While the Occupy Wall Street concept is spreading some, sprouting up around the country, can it last?  Can it start gather up some more local interest?  Haven't seen it yet.  But it may come. Some more seasoned help may be good.

On Daily Kos they have now the first of the official statements from the protests. It's a statement voted on by people at the event to reflect the myriad of issues those present want to correct. Look it over.

TPM has a look at Week 3 of the Occupy Wall Streets, and considers where it is now.

But it is interesting to see the number of people online still pissed off when told that is unclear what the protest is aiming for. Sorry, the accomplishable goals still need to get lain out.  Media needs to get pushed into being engaged.  How aware is the country right now of it?  How aware is most of NYC?

Addendum 1:

Wanted to mention a good point made on twitter by .  
Think when observers claim  is unfocused, what they mean is the problems are "too big."
A good point. The issues we face are huge. And they are hard to express. So general anger can be good. But we have to be sure it does get positively focused at some point. Hopefully soon.

Addendum 2:
Also wanted to consider a good point made by Driftglass via the last The Professional Left podcast. In it he  noted the Million Women March from 2006. I remember it well. It had big political, social, and entertainment names down on the Smithsonian lawns speaking out. There were huge numbers. But there was no real coverage outside of CSPAN.

The idea that Driftglass posits is that  this is due to being unfocused, interested in all the issues that women face in the United States.

Seems like an interesting point, that I hope Occupy Wallstreet keeps in mind. But I do also wonder, did The Million Man March has a better focus? It got a lot of coverage, I think...All points to consider.

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