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Occupy Wall Street


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I've been out of the loop here, too busy and having no idea at all about what is going on in Zuccotti Park in downtown NYC until last night, returning from a video shoot in a cab, I saw the photos, heard the chants. People have been living in that park for days. Many unemployed, mostly young, finally fed up with tax breaks for the rich. Then there was the pepper spray incident. And now today, they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge. The NYPD apparently confused the crowd, herded many onto the roadway and then arrested them all. Including kids:

Even the NYTimes, a conservative newspaper at the best of times, was critical of the cops:

http://cityroom.blog...rooklyn-bridge/

As a long time protestor (AIDS, etc.) I hung up my placards years ago. Too jaded, too cynical to believe it makes a difference. And now I have just enough energy to support my family and friends, trying to change lives only in my small little universe. But this protest has renewed some of my old anger.

It is nice to see that in this well fed, comfy, device glued society, some of us can stand up to the 'powers that be' and try to make a difference for us all.

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in seattle, based on our history, there would have been tear gas and the use of clubs

the spd can not keep it together - they often use excessive force on teens and even people with disabilities

no way could seattle arrest 500 people peacefully without a terrible incident

so, it is impressive to me that the NYPD can manage the crowd so well,

aside from the fact that the should not have arrested them

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New York has more cops per capita and more experience with handling crowds of people. In '99 the Seattle Police Department didn't have the manpower for the WTO event and had to call police from the outlying county ie 'mutual aid". Some of the worst incidents of pepper spraying and clubbing was actually done by officers that were called in from outlying cities.

Oh and I think this is quite relevant on board such as this. Next year both the health plan for uninsured adults -- Basic Health -- and the state's aid program for disabled people that are not eligible (yet) for Social Security Disability are on the chopping block. Both of these are going to seriously impact people with any type of disability. We live in a wealthy country. There is no good reason why people should be sleeping in doorways, without medical coverage.

in seattle, based on our history, there would have been tear gas and the use of clubs

the spd can not keep it together - they often use excessive force on teens and even people with disabilities

no way could seattle arrest 500 people peacefully without a terrible incident

so, it is impressive to me that the NYPD can manage the crowd so well,

aside from the fact that the should not have arrested them

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i saw it on local news and cnn

there is an article in the NY Times

articles in the Wash Post

Chicago Tribune and LA Times

It is on the Home Page of the NPR Web Site

and it is on the Christian Science Monitor web site

However, it has been going on for two weeks?? is that right?

so was the thrust of the coverage during and after the arrests?

Edited by bpladybug
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IDK, I think the sad part is actually the amount of attention they're getting, despite their complete lack of focus. What are their goals? What is their message, other than "Wall St. sucks?"

Their website is all, "Tactics of the Revolutionary Arab Spring," and, "We are the 99%, and we cannot be stopped!" But, come on, cannot be stopped from doing what, exactly? Of course, it's great that so many people are out there, sure. But it's relatively easy, and all very exciting, to go off with your friends to marches and protests, and whatever. Much harder to conceptualize and articulate what it is all that activity is in service of. Which really leaves it in service of nothing at all. Just a lot of crowds and excitement, fading away when it gets too cold to be much fun.

Water, they're upset about tax breaks for the rich? Then wouldn't it be more effective to be trying to occupy Congress?

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Water, they're upset about tax breaks for the rich? Then wouldn't it be more effective to be trying to occupy Congress?

well, also many of the people that work on Wall Street are just low level workers, trying to earn a basic living just like everyone else. There are those brokers making seven figures but they don't necessarily work anywhere near Wall St.

I think Wall St. is just a symbol. And it started in NYC. Many of these people live in New York, this is their backyard. They have a mayor who thinks that not only does everyone own a cell phone but that there are no more pay phones left in NYC, which is totally untrue. Bloomberg is out of touch with his populace.

To address your other point - this is exactly why I stopped protesting. What good did it do anyone, anywhere? What was really accomplished? We legalized AZT but then it proved to do no good at all.

But I don't think that matters. I don't care if the agenda lacks focus. I don't care what the specific goals are. This is all about making a loud stink. Maybe it will do nothing at all. Maybe starving yourself at Guantanamo Bay will do nothing to get you out of jail when you were arrested falsely in the first place. So what? Just doing something makes a difference in your OWN life. Like us crazies, just getting out of bed in the morning is a win. Just putting one shoe on and standing up can be a HUGE deal. Shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge for two hours is a major win. Shouting out to the four corners of the world that OUR Republican Congress refuses to tax the wealthy, increases taxes on the middle class, rides on the back of corporations may accomplish nothing, but it sure feels damn good to yell.

Whomever I voted for, it is MY money paying to kill harmless citizens overseas. It is MY money that invaded Iraq. So if a group of people want to yell loudly about injustice, more power to them.

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Ok, first, there are no functional pay phones in NYC. Bloomberg is right about that. And I strongly suspect that a majority of the protestors have cell phones. They do seem to be online quite a lot.

I agree about it being our money and all of that. But I actually think a bunch of people yelling loudly without a focus, discredit other protestors who do have something to say. I mean, if these people are getting so much attention, without really having much to say, then it's going to be that much harder for the next bunch, who might have actual ideas, to get any attention. And the less likely people are going to be to take them seriously once they do.

For whom is shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge for two hours a huge win? Obviously not for people who live in Brooklyn. Which is not exactly a hotbed of the 1%, all in all. Wouldn't it be more effective to, say, shut down access to the Upper East Side for two hours?

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New York has more cops per capita and more experience with handling crowds of people. In '99 the Seattle Police Department didn't have the manpower for the WTO event and had to call police from the outlying county ie 'mutual aid". Some of the worst incidents of pepper spraying and clubbing was actually done by officers that were called in from outlying cities.

Oh and I think this is quite relevant on board such as this. Next year both the health plan for uninsured adults -- Basic Health -- and the state's aid program for disabled people that are not eligible (yet) for Social Security Disability are on the chopping block. Both of these are going to seriously impact people with any type of disability. We live in a wealthy country. There is no good reason why people should be sleeping in doorways, without medical coverage.

in seattle, based on our history, there would have been tear gas and the use of clubs

the spd can not keep it together - they often use excessive force on teens and even people with disabilities

no way could seattle arrest 500 people peacefully without a terrible incident

so, it is impressive to me that the NYPD can manage the crowd so well,

aside from the fact that the should not have arrested them

The NYPD has a history of over arresting, and keeping people for too long, in crappy conditions during protests. For instance, the Republican convention protestors.

Sure the health care issues are relevant to this board, but I'm not at all sure they're relevant to the protestors.

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IDK, I think the sad part is actually the amount of attention they're getting, despite their complete lack of focus. What are their goals? What is their message, other than "Wall St. sucks?"

Their website is all, "Tactics of the Revolutionary Arab Spring," and, "We are the 99%, and we cannot be stopped!" But, come on, cannot be stopped from doing what, exactly? Of course, it's great that so many people are out there, sure. But it's relatively easy, and all very exciting, to go off with your friends to marches and protests, and whatever. Much harder to conceptualize and articulate what it is all that activity is in service of. Which really leaves it in service of nothing at all. Just a lot of crowds and excitement, fading away when it gets too cold to be much fun.

The problem with honing a message for something like this is that you lose people. I saw "end the fed" signs on one live feed. You've got radical libertarians and radical leftists marching together. If you start trying to hone on specific message, you lose participants because not everyone will agree with it.

Hell, what's the specific message of the tea party?

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But for those who believe that protests are only worthwhile if they translate into quantifiable impact: the lack of organizational sophistication or messaging efficacy on the part of the Wall Street protest is a reason to support it and get involved in it, not turn one’s nose up at it and join in the media demonization. That’s what one actually sympathetic to its messaging (rather than pretending to be in order more effectively to discredit it) would do

What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests? | Salon

IDK, I think the sad part is actually the amount of attention they're getting, despite their complete lack of focus. What are their goals? What is their message, other than "Wall St. sucks?"

Their website is all, "Tactics of the Revolutionary Arab Spring," and, "We are the 99%, and we cannot be stopped!" But, come on, cannot be stopped from doing what, exactly? Of course, it's great that so many people are out there, sure. But it's relatively easy, and all very exciting, to go off with your friends to marches and protests, and whatever. Much harder to conceptualize and articulate what it is all that activity is in service of. Which really leaves it in service of nothing at all. Just a lot of crowds and excitement, fading away when it gets too cold to be much fun.

Water, they're upset about tax breaks for the rich? Then wouldn't it be more effective to be trying to occupy Congress?

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