May 2 2012 : The Media Struggle with Occupy
May Day is over, the pundits and politicos do the post-game analysis, and we are no exception. Except we do the post-game on the politicos and pundits...
MSM outlets like Christian Science Monitor call it a mixed affair, citing heavy turn-out in the cities of Chicago and New York and turning to experts like Drexel prof George Ciccariello-Maher who “gives it overall a B.” Other outlets note that endless confrontations with police and disruptions of the worker-bee commute spook the public and do not do Occupy any favors, PR-wise.
Some of the outlets claim turnout yesterday was “less than” the initial fall occupations. Such statements are difficult to decipher, since turnout last fall was expected to be exactly zero, until the occupation happened.
Why May Day fizzled, hurrumphs CNN International Politico Amitai Etzioni, professor of international relations, at George Washington University. Etzioni is not impressed by tens of thousands in the streets in 2012 as he was in 1946, since says the general strike didn't accomplish its goals then or now and we can breathe easy the system is alive and well. Cnn
Saner heads prevail at CNN Money where the increasing phenomenon of global protests is noted.
Par for the course are the few who try to spoil the party and mar Occupy's image. Bomb threats to bridges in Cleveland, the white powder “prank” played on Wells Fargo, suggest edgier elements, if not operatives, that itch for confrontation.
MSM coverage deploys the usual catch-22, it's not news unless you're rioting in the street, and the movement is failing and losing relevance by rioting in the streets.
One occupier at Canal St turns to the sidewalk crowd and attempts to recruit, preacher-style “one of you is going to join this march right now, you're thinking about it, who's going to be the first.”
Out of the stores and into the streets goes the chant. Occupiers may eventually ask themselves what it would take, tactically, to achieve this holiest of grails.
They also need an answer for the get-a-jobbers, those who say they don't have the luxury of joining street parties and parades, and need to get to work.
Excuse the inconvenience while we change the world, says the sign of a demonstrator, as if in response.
Arrests overall are light, with the usual exceptions of Oakland and Seattle as the mood, especially in NYC, is largely festive.
May Day protests take place nation-wide, including middle America, where the presence is fewer demonstrators but demands no less persistent. Detroit News
Occupy Denver, which had a robust and high-profile presence through-out the fall, staged its own sleep-in at 16th street after several hundred are said to have marched through the downtown area. Fox 31 Denver
Bay Area Columnist Tammerlin Drummond takes the fringe element of occupy that appears “bent on destruction” to task Mercury News
Occupy Philly sees two dragged off, as protesters are alleged to mix it up with a customer attempting to use a Wells Fargo ATM at 17th at Walnut. Cops also prevented the occupiers from linking up with a separate demonstration of strippers protesting outside the Philly inquirer offices that linked their trade to societal ills like prostitution and violence. Dancer/performer/protester Melissa Bang-Bang says she simply likes “to dance and play dress-up.”philly.com
Occupy Oakland features popular Iraq vet Scott Olsen, who is recovering from injuries inflicted by Oakland PD last fall. Mother Jones has photo expose of yesterday's Occupy Oakland actions, including the targeting of a Wells Fargo branch and the ensuing police response and occupier scramble, documented late into the night by livestreamer Oaktown Pirate , who raises the hashtag at @Oaktownpirate
Occupy Seattle has a penchant for bringing out the masked men and women, if not the black bloc, as some protesters wield pipes and smash storefronts Washington Post The actions lead to a condemnations from old Seattle protest dog Vivian McPeak blogs.seattlepi.com and Occupy itself nwcn.com
Occupy Miami features three arrests with protester claims that cops used excessive force and injured three protesters, claims denied by police. Local10.com
Occupy Albany was also a hot spot, as 20 are arrested for “breaking curfew” as they return to Lafayette Park. DA Daniel Soares however has tossed prosecutions out for anyone charged with non-violent offenses, leading some to wonder what the point of playing the arrest charade game is, exactly. Timesunion.com
Also from the Left Coast, Occupy SF decide to Occupy an abandoned church building at 888 Turk but get the boot and at least 26 arrests as authorities move in with the usual 5Am wake up call. Organizers say reinforcements were supposed to arrive at 6Am to relieve the initial occupiers, but the plan “never materialized.” CBS Local SF
Across the pond, Occupy London SE goes a bit the same way, according to BBC.co.uk
London Community News notes numerous speakers on a broad range of topics highlight the event