Occupy Wall Street

(Sitting here in New Zealand, I am obviously well-placed to Give Advice to the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Here on my blog I address an audience of as many as TEN different people, and I’m sure the weight of these multitudes will carry this message to the people who need it most. You’re welcome, freedom.)

OWS does not have a list of policy and process demands (yet) and it houses enormous diversity. This movement, says the media and political establishment, is incoherent and without focus.

But the OWS protestors do have a clear single focus; an overarching unified goal of which they share pursuit. The goal is this: getting the powerful to admit there is a fundamental problem with the economy.

This should be the core message of the protests. Every time a camera gets turned on someone at OWS, we should hear this demand. (I’m sure someone has said these words, somewhere, but I haven’t seen it and that means it isn’t high enough profile.)

The protesters all know there is a fundamental problem. They say to the camera: “We are here because our society is broken”. But I haven’t heard anyone say “and we demand that the bankers, the politicians, the media pundits, admit this!”

If this was the message, then perhaps the TV cameras would spend a little less time asking protesters what policy changes they want, and a little more time confronting bankers and politicians with the realities of the system they have created.

(OWS is changing the discourse anyway.)

2 thoughts on “Occupy Wall Street”

  1. There’s a list of demands here, which has been up for nearly a month. I don’t now how widely known they are, but they’re pretty specific. Also, I’m not sure it’s fair to hold the protesters responsible for the incoherence of the media coverage: it’s not like the media don’t have their own agenda about how they present the protest.

    See also Jay Smooth’s latest vlog.

    Disclaimer: I haven’t actually seen any mainstream coverage, just a small amount of what’s on the ‘net.

  2. china shop: agreed on all points, especially holding protesters responsible for incoherent coverage. I think the protesters are doing an amazing job, creating a new kind of protest on the fly and holding it together. It’s beautiful to watch.

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