Last week was a busy one for Occupy Wall Street in NYC. Protesters were viciously “de-camped” early on before rallying to mark the protest’s 2-month anniversary with a “day of action” on Thursday that culminated in a pretty amazing march of 10,000 or so (and some awesome guerrilla projection art).
Sure, there were moments of Utter Dumbness as things got underway. Whoever decided it would be a good idea to physically prevent financial workers — who are, you know, part of the “99%” — from getting to their desks on Thursday morning should be slapped in the head with a New York City phone book. Deserving of a follow-up slap is the bright light who initiated an anemic effort to “shut down” the Stock Exchange, as counterproductive an idea as I can imagine for a protest that claims unemployment is among their major beefs. (It doesn’t take a genius to imagine the frenzied panic selling during the last 2 hours of the European session if the NYSE’s opening bell was inexplicably silent at 9:30am Eastern… and sell-offs mean layoffs. Oops!)
Those little misfires aside, something that impressed the hell out of me on Thursday morning was CNBC’s interview with an Occupy Wall Street organizer. This young man was everything we usually don’t see in media depictions of OWS: intelligent and articulate and even savvy enough to dress for the occasion. I was doubly impressed that CNBC, Wall Street TV, would even deign to interview him, and overcome the challenges that smuggling him into the Stock Exchange must surely have presented on that particular day. Watch this:
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Occupy Wall Street is growing up.
But like that old Seinfeld episode about “good naked” and “bad naked”, there’s “good Occupy” and “bad Occupy”.
Which brings me to Occupy Vancouver.
I can’t speak to how the rest of the country’s occupiers are doing in the wake of being swept out of encampments, but Occupy Vancouver seems to have pushed its luck and public sympathy to the breaking point. What may have started as a populist movement articulating the justifiable rage of an impossibly-squeezed middle class has clearly devolved into something far less sympathetic. Contrast the CNBC interview above with this video from an Occupy Vancouver protest last week:
“Play with us”? Arrgh. That brainless little diatribe is, as RT says, a revealing “tell” that goes a long way to explaining why OV has lost much of the public support it once had. The vast majority of “the 99%” don’t want to run and play all their lives, or be told that their work ethic is “bullshit”.
Occupy Vancouver is currently on the move again — according to their live chat, they and their tents and tarps are heading for Commercial Drive because it’s perceived as more Occupy-friendly. Just don’t tell them that settling into an area that welcomes them with open arms (and maybe candy and flowers) makes it less of an “occupation” and more of an “open-ended visit”.