New polls show the public turning against the OWS movement (PPP via NoMoreMisterNiceBlog):
The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement’s support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street’s goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42.
Voters don’t care for the Tea Party either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed. But asked whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question.
I don’t think this matters that much. Eventually, establishment media was going to turn the public against the dirty, thieving hippies. I do think this is why, for the most part, Democratic elected officials have been smart to keep a safe distance from OWS.
The purpose of OWS, as I see it, is to (a) get the topic of income inequality in the air and (b) scare the Galtians. It is succeeding well on both fronts so far. The Zuccotti park eviction keeps the momentum going.
I know that not everyone will like this analogy, but every movement needs its shock troops. You can’t expect people to love the shock troops. As long as you don’t let the troops nominate people like Christine O’Donnell or scream embarrassing things during debates, it’s all good.
The Tea Party’s lack of popularity hasn’t hurt the aims of the movement. The impact is similar here.
The fact that the Tea Party gets a 43 on that question is just further proof that White people are fucking stupid.
@Hunter Gathers: I take it as proof that this is poll is off. Which seems to be happening an awful lot these days with PPP, seems like.
Constant media reports of the rapes, assaults, drug dealing and people dying of overdoses certainly didn’t help either.
It’s not like these things don’t happen every day in every major city – but it’s not often the media and especially the right wing – get to tie it directly to the evil libruls.
Still, the optics have been terrible of late.
Not a surprise, as the “liberal” media outlets like the Kaplan Post continue to ask important questions like this:
If you seriously think the conversation will stay on income inequality without obvious screaming on the part of the 99% you’re not as smart as I have given you credit for.
If OWS goes away I give it thirty days tops before the conversation will be back to all deficits all the time.
The Spy Who Loved Me
The difference is that the Tea Party organized and started fielding candidates, with some of them getting elected. OWS, so far, has no plans to do so.
Without the “occupy” part of OWS, the media will lose interest. Once the media loses interest, the talk of income inequality will die down.
If OWS wants to truly accomplish something, they need to turn into an organized political movement.
I’m not a huge fan of the OWS movement. I think it’s too unfocused and disorganized to achieve their goals, whatever they are. But I’m an unconditional supporter of their right to exercise their rights to peaceably assemble and seek redress. I think the police actions against them are horrible and unamerican.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Campionrules: You got to love how no one bothers to ask why all these collage kids are doing so much self destructive stuff. Gee, maybe they have no future, you know?
“But I guarantee you that it ain’t your day”
Hard to say where OWS is headed now that they’ve been evicted from…basically everywhere, but it seems to have legs. Lord knows, the teabaggers wouldn’t have had any traction without being jet-propelled with continuous corporate support. Hoverround batteries just don’t last that long.
The 99% message is out there. OWS helped do that. I’d declare victory and go home.
David in NY
ETA: Foley Square.
Yup. Everybody out for the big, Nov. 17, 5:00 p.m., demonstration in lower Manhattan. Please.
after the last decade+ where polls have obviously been done to PUSH the agenda, why would anyone put any stock in them? and more importantly why is anyone listening to the media? it’s been painfully clear for a very long time where their alliances lie, and it isn’t with informing the public, but rather in keeping the status quo and protecting the powerful.
@bin Lurkin’: This. Dancing with the Biggest Loser’s Amazing Race is on, and politics is hard. Now that OWS isn’t out in the street screaming about income inequality, the poor put upon media will be able to go back to both-sides-do-it and deficit mongering. And if Europe implodes like it looks to do, they can bust out extra austerity stories about how suffering is good for the soul.
Topic’s already there, thanks.
As I have said on numerous occasions, this was all destined to turn to shit once you had protests organized in Oakland, Portland and Seattle. Those cities are loaded with numbmnuts dumbass emoprog leftists who would have done better by sitting it out, because anything they did would turn sour in a very short time.
Ironically, shutting the protests down in cities that weren’t New York has become the goal of the sort of small businesses that OWS should like – local ownership, responsible product selection, personal service, non-rapacious profit needs. Why were those businesses agitating for it? They are the ones who spent time and energy revitalizing downtown areas, not the megacorporate chains which infest the suburban malls. Once the morons on the West Coast showed their asses, the nice, stable, small business owners in downtowns across the country began worrying about the safety and security of their investments of money and time, and that is spreading.
So lets all give a nice big slow clap for the “more progressive than thous” who enabled the stupidity out west, and gave an optic that small business owners from Manhattan to Vancouver would be genuinely concerned about.
And it’s easy to do when people insist on using hippies as a metaphor. Then it’s not Americans reacting to a problem, just a bunch of performance artists playing at 1960s style radicalism.
Fortunately, I think that the 99 percent metaphor may have some staying power, no matter what happens to the current protests.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@Yevgraf: The real problems in Oakland came from people far to the left of any progressives.
The margin of error for the poll was 3.5 percent. So, I think there is a danger of over interpreting some of the results, particularly the change in level of support, which is close to margin of error.
And margin of error only reflects random sampling error, when there are other factors that can affect poll results.
So, I see only some evidence that proportion who disapprove has risen somewhat.
People’s minds might get focused on need for a movement like OWS when the worse than worthless Super Duper Congress rip off budget nonsense gets back into the news with some more proposals for looting the US public.
Thanks for the link, Zandar.
I’m inclined to agree with whoever said that: “In a democracy the people do eventually get the government they deserve.” Whether or not we actually have a democracy, republic or representative democracy, is I guess another question. As is the question of whether or not this poll is accurate.
Still, the suggestion that people need to get involved in electoral politics kind of begs the question of whether it matters, since when one looks at Europe all the parties are wholy owned subsideries of the central banks and all are willing to force more failed economic policies on the people there. I see no difference here.
Expect no change without violence at this point, and in all probability none with it.
The problem faces by OWS is that there are no uniformly recognized leaders who can go on cable night after night and make the same cogent argument night after night. Given the lack of a “face” the media has been free to put the face of the media’s own choosing on the movement. Hence the emphasis on drug use and squalor at he expense of the true message of OWS
It is time for Progressives to start acting like grownups, and to take responsibility for how our actions are perceived by the media, and to shape our message in such a way that we can define ourselves to the media instead ofthe mediadefinng us. If the Tea Party can define themselves as reasonable in spite of idiots carrying guns to their rally’s, progressives should be smart enough to marginalized our drug addicts.
Oh, and a big PS to New York folks – out here in Real America, our downtowns are the test lab for genuine small business entrepeneurialism. Interesting boutiques, restaurants, craft guilds and the like (mostly locally owned) are now thriving, no thanks to the megaconglomerates headquartered in Manhattan. When business in our downtowns is disrupted, it harms the very people who OWS should cheering.
Just thought I’d add that.
One more thing – if OWS wants to do something truly decent, they’ll act in support of workers at Target, Toys R Us and WalMart for opening on Thanksgiving day by picketing high profile stores. What middle aged, middle class white women are forcing retail employees to do (all in order to feed their hoarding/shopping habits they’ve honed over the past 40-55 years of their lives) is shameful.
@Wag: The Dean Scream treatment, any OWS “leader” who steps out will be given that in trumps, redoubled.
Indeed, it’s already started.
Also, too, AP reporters told to not tweet OWS stories ahead of AP. AP promises to order extra coal for the news boilers.
Reuters puts it thusly: “Don’t scoop the wire.”
Sorry, but this is wrong.
The Tea party’s lack of general popularity hasn’t hurt its cause since The Tea Party is mostly the crazy primary voters of the GOP. Since they identify with the GOP they don’t have any problem running candidates in GOP primaries or getting involved with the GOP.
OWS, correctly IMHO, points out the GOP and DEM parties and the parties politicians are corrupted and dependent institutions and forces the OWS are protesting against. OWS is not going to act the same way towards the DEMS as the Tea Party did towards the GOP and so it will always remain an outsider looking in on the political process.
As long as the OWS is on the outside and wields little influence the MSM, who are corrupted in the same way the GOP and DEMS are, will continue to take the 1%’s side where ever they can.
I know the OWS want to stay away from having a platform/plank or whatever, but they can’t wait for the politicians to get on board with their general message of social injustice by the 1% towards the 99%. The politicians will assume the 1% will triumph and carry them along with them since the 1% always does, they just suffer setbacks unless we plan on breaking out the guillotine, which I’m not suggesting.
What the few key issues that will scew our society less in the 1% favors is something for them.
@Yevgraf: Your analysis is unpersuasive. The problems the Occupy groups are encountering were simply a matter of time. Not space.
FYI – an important detail regarding the PPP poll omitted from the entry anchoring this thread is that the polling was conducted before the DHS/FBI facilitated multi-city crackdown on peaceful public assemblies.
Also, one additional irony omitted is the fact that Bloomberg is New York city’s Berlusconi – even though Mikey is this nation’s 16th wealthiest individual while Silvio tops Italy’s list.
OWS = unBama
OWS needs to find some envelopes to push, honestly. It’s a creative bunch, I’m sure they’ll figure it out.
the question really shouldn’t be ‘what will become of the OWS movement’ it should be HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Are you satisfied with the current state of our government? Do you think things are really going to change in Washington DC without some pressure brought to bear? THAT is what this movement seeks to do, get ‘the Galtians’ to stop and think about folks other than themselves…
How much longer can the government continue to serve only the 1% with the 99% bringing pressure to address the inequity? The regular channels of representation have been bought and paid for by the wealthy, the corporations & their lobbyists and ‘the beltway media’ is content to push the 1% agenda because that is the demographic they belong to…
with unemployment at 9%+ and students graduating without the prospect of livable employment opportunities and with the troops coming home from Iraq & Afghanistan with next to no employment opportunities and with services to the poor & unemployed being gutted, this ‘movement’ is only going to grow… there’s virtually nothing left to lose for 99% of the country.
Anyone know of any polls or studies on exactly who is participating in the various OWS protests?
The corporate media characterization is contradictory BS that they made up to drive their agenda or create a nice audience drawing ‘narrative’ (that is, pack of lies and fantasies).
I heard radio interviews with OWS organizers in SF and San Jose saying that the Oakland bunch was out of control.
But Oakland is generically out of control, with interlocking connections and synergies of out of controlness cutting through many levels, as Newt might say. So anyone hoping for something uplifting in a nice soft average voter pleasing way coming out Oakland, well, I would settle in for a long wait. Oakland will be Oakland and there is nothing any prospective organizer can do about it.
But back to the question. How many occupiers are homeless, street people, versus students, ordinary type young people with nothing to do (since no jobs and they can’t afford any kind of college at all anymore), long term unemployed, and middle class concerned types? Anyone know?
I have felt from the start that the encampments would be unsustainable, the logistics in maintaining the camps would start to detract from actions and that Occupy should have been planning on quickly securing indoor spaces to facilitate operations while keeping a street/public presence. It appears that the encampments and issues involved with maintaining them are starting to override the message. The Philadelphia Daily News had an article about the Philly encampment and with Will Bunch on the byline, this cant be considered a Murdoch media hatchet job
WaPo via plawless:
Someone’s been getting their rhetoric lessons from Mein Kampf.
And don’t give me any shit about Godwinning the conversation — WaPo effectively did that already by comparing OWS to vermin.
OWS as infestation:
That terminology is dangerous.
Godwin: “Infestation” is dangerous in the same way that calling Jews a cancer on the body of the nation was dangerous.
Mayors scared of crowds going bad+nice local businesses being scared of crowds going bad=something was going to be done.
Now, where did they get the impression that these things were going to go bad? Would it be Oakland? Portland? Places with a history of having violence accompany demonstrations, because its “sticking it to The Man”?
How long do you think you can run a Zucotti Park before opportunistic human hunting, theft, drug abuse or sexual assault by scumbags is going to occur?
OWS’ biggest failure continues to be in not reaching out for the sort of leadership and quality strategies and answers offered on a nearly daily basis here in these very comments sections.
There are at the very least dozens and dozens and dozens if not hundreds of persistent voices clarifying what it is that OWS is doing wrong, and yet somehow the OWS movement is failing to cause these voices to appear and take leadership roles.
Once that happens, things should really improve, and quickly.
If OWS doesn’t tend to its image, the convo will be back to all deficits all the time cuz no one will care what you think.
OWS has already been an overwhelming success. They’ve moved the conversation away from deficits to where it should rightly be, i.e. wealth inequality, corruption, and crony capitalism.
That a majority of Americans are willing and eager to lap up the MSM’s substance-free demonization of the movement is not OWS’s problem. We’ve become a nation of cynical, low-information rubes who are well on our way (to paraphrase Mencken) to getting what we asked for, and getting it good and hard.
Dry, man. Very dry. Kinda how I like my wines.
Let us not bury OWS yet.
I know I’m a little gloomy because I have spent my whole working day transcribing medical reports for people who have very short life expectancies. However, such gloom can make one more sensitive to signs of life.
The Occupy movement is very much alive. It might go through some stages, it might move forward and backwards, and it might have both beauty and ugliness.
But it ain’t dead yet. Not by a long shot.
@cat: The tea party is an artificial astroturf effort supported by the same reactionary elements that support the reactionary shift towards madness and 100 percent crony capitalism rule in the GOP.
The policies they support are deeply unpopular, and they say stupid things, and they were fare more disruptive of important public business (disrupting local public congressional meetings) that OWS.
The corporate bag men and PR flacks couldn’t turn out many teabaggers for demonstrations on a sustained basis. Their only accomplishement was to elect a lot of loons to Congress and state government because of low turnout in an off year election, not because the public approves of them in any way. They would have faded from public view far more than they have, except that the mass media was willing to pretend that their events, that attracted dozens to obviously manufactured astroturf PR stunts, were newsworthy.
There is deep and lasting unpopularity of the teabaggers, which overwhelms the minor shifts I see from poll to poll for the OWS.
I don’t see many useful parallels between OWS and the teabaggers.
@Yevgraf: PS to the Midwestern folks: there’s plenty of small businesses in downtown Manhattan as well. Please don’t take your geography lessons from the same folks who told you that the Ground Zero Mosque is a mosque at Ground Zero.
You know what annoyed me most about OWS? Every night on my way home, they would have a table set up along Broadway with a big “Vote for Nobody” sign. Yeah, that’s the way to get the Powers That Be to notice your grievances, by announcing that you won’t be using your political power. Geniuses.
@JGabriel: Indeed. El Cid’s snark is the finest vintage.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
FTFY. It would be interesting to see if any of those reports pan out to the point of producing some prosecutions, hospital reports, or the like. And, if those further reports come out, whether the people involved are actual OWS protesters or various hangers on who are taking advantage of the movement. I know that here in LA, the Occupy group is close enough to skid row that there is a fair contingent of homeless people who have joined the encampment because it gives them some protection from hassling by the police. I’d be suspicious that any drug related stuff, and possibly other criminal activity, came from them rather than the main OWS group.
Then it would have been smarter for the Oakland emoprogs to sit this out and let it be more successful.
I wish this blog had a Like button.
My advice: Decentralize. Centralized protests are too easy to demonize and physically break up, and all of the demonization memes I’ve seen relate to the camps and the problems they cause. So… lose the camps. Go full-on distributed. The real problem is over-centralization of economic power in this country, but you’re never going to beat that bunch playing on turf they’ve defined.
Somehow, they need to figure out a mechanism for spontaneous Flash Protests– 50, 100, 500 folks all show up at some public place at the same time, with little enough notice that the towns wouldn’t be able to prepare. One day it’s a Bank in Delaware, next day it’s a courthouse in WI, next day it’s a college in Boston, etc. Stand there for 1-3 hours, holding your “We are the 99%” signs and not doing much else. Then just as peaceably (and suddenly) disperse.
If you really want to irritate the PTB, this would be the way to do it. They’d feel like they were trying to put out a smouldering forest fire with a sledgehammer.
Once you got that down, you could up the ante and link these groups up with direct and tangible Good Works, stuff that’s impossible to demonize: A crowd suddenly forms at a homeless shelter, feeds them, then disperses. Another crowd suddenly shows up at a voter registration location, registers en masse for whatever legal VoterID that state just passed into law, then disperses. Maybe they show up and build a house for some Amish people, or paint a school or something.
I’m not a community organizer or leader of any sort, really, but if those with the appropriate talents could solve the logistical/mechanics problems and figure out how to do this sort of thing, you could end up with an effective (and hard to demonize) protest style for the 21st century.
As I recall, those small businesses had pretty much announced that they were over any sense of humor about OWS. Can’t say as I blame them.
But it feels good, man. Obama=Bush
This is one of the most on-point comment threads I’ve read in a long time. I have always thought that the structure of OWS made it difficult for it to thrive long term. Movements heed spokespeople,they need concrete goals and most of all they need discipline.
In my youth I was involved in a number of protests and pickets under the direction of Saul Alinsky trained organizers. They demanded strict discipline – no talking on the picket line other than to repeat the chant of the day, no talking to the press unless you were delegated to do so,dress up for the event.
We stayed strictly on message and were able to accomplish a great deal of our agenda. we were fighting housing discrimination, absentee (slum)landlords, and crooked real estate agents.
We were aggressive, picketing in front of slum lords homes and apartment buildings. But we were a group of well-dressed ordinary people: old ladies, working class men, and even children – my father bragged that I walked my first picket at age 4.
Our discipline made it difficult to vilify us, so we were able to focus the press on the targets of our wrath. Even the worst slumlord doesn’t want his friends and neighbors to know he’s a slumlord, let alone have it written about in the paper. So mostly we won.
I wish the Occupy Movement would use some of those tactics. They would have a much better chance of success.
The Ancient Randonneur
It’s hard out here for a Chairborne Ranger. But we gotta keep our game tight like Kobe on game night.
I agree on (a), but not on (b), really. They’re in image-management mode, and they have the best propagandists in America, Murdoch and Ailes, doing pushback for free. They don’t even have to hire a crisis management team.
I agree with that. I’m all for the good-cop/bad-cop approach. Which is why I’m disappointed that there don’t seem to be any good cops — no one’s taking advantage of the new attention being paid to left-wing critiques by engaging in other, more traditional forms of protest.
Shock troops for what? The Democratic Party?
I don’t think OWS demonstrators see themselves as being the shock troops to help Democrats win in 2012.
I’m confused as to the thrust of your post. Are you suggesting that the convergence of a given city’s free-moving homeless population, criminal element and ever-present grifter/scumbag class on “Occupy” locations reflects poorly on the occupiers? So poorly that city
cowardsofficials responding to wealthy local special interestspublic complaints eagerly participated in the DHS/FBI coordinating con-calls and implemented the guidance they received?
Or are you suggesting that cities’ officials have exploited their own history of disregard for public safety, the needs of the under-privileged and ineffective policing of local criminal elements to attack peaceful citizen uprisings that threaten the political and lucrative post-political self-enrichment prospects of those who shit on the Constitution they’re duty- and legally-bound to uphold?
Show up at the Galtians’ country clubs, their showy “charity” events, their favorite restaurants and churches in flash mob style. Picket the clubs their kids party at.
go for the soft targets, and make like fucking miserable for them and their hangers on, as they try and anticipate which of their next pleasures is going to be diminished (kind of like a middle class person not getting to enjoy his few pleasures).
IMO, OWS’s disorganization and diffuse consensus approach to decision making is a big attraction for many people.
We live a country that is approaching complete fraudulence in its approach to democracy, capitalism, governance.
i think many people, particularly young people with few options, long term unemployed, and veterans who have been cast aside, hunger for some kind of meaningful participation in some kind of community.
So, yeah, it hurts the short term effectiveness of OWS, but the fact that there are thousands of people around the country eager to participate in some way, and that a third of the population has a supportive attitude is a good sign.
It’s easy to make a big splash over a summer. The real question is the staying power of a popular movement. I don’t think that has much to do with writing up a list of demands or goals for a few demonstrations.
I forget where, but there was a post in this blog about some NYT pundit saying that is exactly what OWS should do: rent a stadium, make a some stirring speeches, then go home and shut up, very satisfied that they had gotten a offical public platform and made their point. In other words, they should be satisfied with being chumped again.
Edit: as for my complete fraudulence in government claim, click onto Mark Thoma’s Economist’s View blog and look at the chart of federal bank fraud prosecutions over the last twenty years or so that was posted earlier today. An amazing and distressing chart.
A Conservative Teacher
Does it ever bother you that the way you talk- for example, calling for shock troups ane endorsing violence and revolution- is the same kind of stuff that Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and Castro talked about? I’m not saying that you are a fascist or Stalinist, but there is a strong whiff of that about this blog.
My blog smells faintly of liberty and freedom, incidently.
I’m not sure where you recall that from. Your typical business enjoys the extra business. Were you possibly at the Applebee’s salad bar when the small business spokesperson mentioned this to you?
Everything you need to know about politics I learned from the Triforce: Power alone is unfocused noise, Wisdom alone is academic nonsense, Courage alone is impotence.
Power and Wisdom without Courage is inertia of the status quo, Power and Courage without Wisdom is inchoate destructive rage, and Wisdom and Courage without Power is marginalized to the point of nonexistence.
You need all three.
@A Conservative Teacher: My blog smells faintly of liberty and freedom, incidently.
Lamest. Blogwhore. Ever.
I’d appreciate it if commenters didn’t presume to speak for the entire midwest.
Please don’t be so quick to repeat right wing BS. This fairy tale about DHS/FBI coordination came from a blogger at a right slanted fake news site called examiner.com which is owned by Christian conservative billionaire Phillip Anschutz.
Just because Michael Moore likes to quote shit without examining the source doesn’t make it true.
@A Conservative Teacher:
FTFY. HTH. HAND.
Yes. some places just can’t have a responsible demonstration, and that should be a consideration, if someone wants to, you know, accomplish something beyond rubbing one out.
Local restaurants and local boutique retailers are hardly wealthy enough to qualify as “The Man” to whom it should be sticked, despite the constant thrust in the editorial room of the Oakland Daily Worker. And I would expect a mayor facing an unprecedented disturbance to civic life in the heart of a revitalized downtown area with thriving small businesses would want to seek guidance on how to best diminish that pressure.
Word salad. Anyway, I usually get distressed over the tazing, beating and occasional shooting of demonstrators, but I probably wouldn’t cry much if your skull got in the way of a police baton.
OT, but follow up on my comment on bank fraud prosecutions:
Prosecutions for Bank Fraud
Mark Thoma, economists view
The post is a glorified link to a NYT Economix blog post with another interesting chart that shows federal prosecutions for everything else have been increasing rapidly over the last ten years, and took a huge and sustained jump in 2008.
So, if this is the kind of country we will be living in (and if Obama’s brand of change is the best we can hope for, it will be country we are living in), I think there will be sustained public support for movements like OWS.
@The Spy Who Loved Me: “The difference is that the Tea Party organized and started fielding candidates, with some of them getting elected. OWS, so far, has no plans to do so.”
The difference is that the Tea Party was an astroturf organization supported heavily by two networks (Fox and whatevertheheck that business network is), and working as a false front of the GOP.
I think one mistake we’ve made is allowing ourselves (and in many cases not just allowing but championing) the idea that this is the “Occupy Wall Street Movement.” While I’ve been excited and inspired by so much of what has been going on, the encampments were bound to not last for ever. OWS should be seen as (hopefully) just a single moment in a larger movement against income inequality and corporate greed.
Characterizing what has been happening as the OWS movement allows us to be divided. I took part in a protest a the other week that was led by a number of longstanding NYC community organizations in support of extending the NYS millionaires tax. All the press coverage made sure to note that while some occupiers might of attended, this protest was not part of the “Occupy movement.”
As long as the story is the shock troops, they’ll fail. If the story is Wall Street, they win.
They need to do better.
@Tim I: @William Hurley:
Look Ma, no commas!
@A Conservative Teacher:
I don’t know your brand of conservatism, but neoconservatism is explicitly Leninist in its methods.
@jl: Matt Taibbi (I know, some people around here hate him) had the most insightful take- there is no hope for most of us, and just having a place to be that was out of the glare of the heartless corporate/government machine is a good start.
I don’t know if OWS will work but after the last two years it should be obvious to anyone paying attention that the USA has structural problems that are not going to go away and voting alone aren’t going to fix.
Thats a throwback to Wavy Gravy’s old hippy dippy Vote for Nobody campaign schtick from 1980 (thanks for helping elect Ronald Reagan!).
Google is your friend. Globe and Mail, Huffington, others all report it.
Yes, from customers who have money to spend, and who don’t dissuade other customers from coming in due to circumstances and events.
Cris (without an H)
The evictions came at a good time. (Though based on this poll, a week earlier might have been better.) Because one of the virtues of the Occupation is that it has no specific agenda, its inherent fractiousness would have become an increasing liability the longer it went on. By February it would have been as polyglot and embarrassing as an ANSWER march.
The eviction gives the narrative a satisfying ending. Rather than petering out or calling it quits, the occupation gets sent home by the authorities. Perfect.
@A Conservative Teacher:
What kind of “teacher” uses “you” twice in a sentence without specifying who you even is? My guess: an unemployed one.
Once you address the tea party’s love of refreshing the “tree of liberty” with blood, we’ll get to your multi-headed complaint.
I too disagree with this. Teabagger unpopularity has hurt the movement. Although you never hear this in the public discourse, the only meaningful impact the teabaggers have had in electoral terms is to cost their party its chance to take back the Senate along with the House in 2010 (if only teabaggers in the Northeast had had the sense to sit down, shut up and let people in touch with their constituencies run for office).
Since then, the candidates chosen by or affiliated with teabaggers haven’t proven to be very popular, either those in the House or in state governorships – as the backlash from last week demonstrated. And the teabagger hatred for and distrust of so-called “moderates” like McCain and Romney could hurt them in 2012 and will very probably hurt them more and more as time passes.
You don’t get OWS goals, the ‘hardcore originalists’ want a complete change in governance from our two party representative democracy to direct participation. They view their GA is a “city on a hill”.
Comparisons to Civil Rights Movement are always tenuous, but in some ways OWS could be seen as our lunch counter sit-ins. Of course, those protests led to the founding of SNCC. But our experience is lacking the established leaders and organizations who came along, helped them solidify their organization, and provided technical assistance. While SNCC always maintained their independence, the organization was founded at a conference sponsored by the SCLC with the express purpose of bringing together students from across the country who were engaging in direct action without much coordination.
I tend to agree.
@Yevgraf: Sorry but Milk Cafe’s a bad example; this guy has been all over, even on Beck’s show apparently (google Milk Street Cafe) — his place is located at 40 Wall St, literally blocks away from Zuccotti Park.
From the Tribeca Trib, the members of the local Community Board — zealous protectors of small business in NYC neighborhoods — are more on the side of OWS:
“In a statement, Community Board 1 chair Julie Menin condemned the arrests. “Community Board 1 (CB1) has been clear that we oppose the use of force in this situation and oppose a forcible clearing of the park. We believe that there is a solution that allows the protection of OWS’s First Amendment rights and also respects the quality of life for residents and small businesses.”
Bruce Ehrmann, a CB1 member who was at Zuccotti Park Tuesday afternoon, went further.
“Given…the fact that these people have changed the nature of the conversation in the U.S. from one of despair and greed to one of hope and change, I think it’s a sad day for democracy.”
The results of this poll will be widely trumpeted and will serve as vindication both for those who have openly opposed the OWS movement, as well as the many pearl-clutchers who always were able to find some reason not to support it.
The corporate media which has denigrated the movement since its inception will use the result to provide even less coverage. Of course, what they have chosen to publish thus far has been almost entirely inflammatory or tendentious.
This will prove to be yet one more illustration of the different standards applied by the media to the Tea Party and the Occupy movement. Although polling support for the TP has been declining steadily for more than one year, it remains a potent and visible presence in the political reporting and “analysis” of print and broadcast media. Evidently, the incoherence of its message (“We want our country back”) or its documented financial support by GOP machers (Koch Industries, Dick Armey) never impeded the media’s warm embrace.
As Linda Featheringill cautioned above (#40), burial rites and encomia for the Occupy movement are premature. But it will require all the tactical savvy OWS has demonstrated thus far to disrupt the overwhelming media verdict of sin, sloth, and squalor.
I’ll be proud marching in tomorrow’s demonstration here in NYC. But make no mistake, emperor Bloomberg and his security forces, hailed by the hometown media, will continue their efforts to restrict, antagonize, and demonize Occupy protesters.
I dont disagree with you, I’m just saying TTP exerts influence because they apply what limited power they have to the GOP not nationally where the OWS is being to broad and hence their agenda will gain little traction.
Cris (without an H)
This is why I have no real interest in Occupy Missoula. Shows of solidarity are nice, but the 1% just doesn’t have a clear face in these parts, so any protest is inevitably going to splatter on unintended targets.
Cris (without an H)
Emphasis mine, and I appreciate your saying this. For some reason a lot of B-J critics of #OWS keep saying “your street protests aren’t going to solve anything if you don’t organize and vote,” as though they’re mutually exclusive. And you can turn that sentiment around: you need to organize and vote, but even your vote won’t do much if you don’t continue to agitate and make your voice heard publicly.
@Yevgraf: “Now, where did they get the impression that these things were going to go bad? Would it be Oakland? Portland? Places with a history of having violence accompany demonstrations, because its “sticking it to The Man”?”
Liar. Oakland is a place with a history violent police *serving The Man*.
Cris (without an H)
From the corpse of liberty and freedom stuffed under the floorboards?
Generally speaking, crapping and pissing all over the sidewalks isn’t a good way to garner support for your cause… Just saying
Good luck in tomorrow’s demonstration and may you have many, many fellow protesters.
I understand the unions are going to get involved in this, too.
The East Bay has a very mixed history in terms of racial bigotry and community relations with the police.
The suburban parts of the SF East Bay was largely middle class and very white until after WWII, which brought in masses of black and Hispanic workers, and gave them enough money to start integrating with the middle class.
Apparently some East Bay communities, Oakland being one of them, thought that their new racial and ethnic minority members needed to be controlled. One tactic in the 50s was to recruit police and city administrators from the South, there they new how to handle these issues, and I think Oakland was a leader in this stupid plan.
There are a number of East Bay cities that still carry a very toxic legacy from those days, and Oakland is one of them, and the most prominent nationally.
Here is the thing: the 1% is clearly worried about OWS. They will try to shoot the messenger, but the message has the 1% concerned. They do see OWS as more than just a bunch of DFHs in a drum circle.
@Tim I: Ah, when were those no talking on the picket lines and where were they?
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
This. And the big about the lasting unpopularity of the Tea Party ignores the fact that the Tea Party had stupidly ridiculous (emphasis on the stupid) numbers before this year, to where leading into the 2010 elections, somehow the Tea Party was seen as the LEAST extreme of the ‘parties’ and the Dems the MOST extreme. That was after 2 years of existence. Yet OWS and the Occupy movement in general seems to have been shitcanned because OMG FUCKING HIPPIIIIIIIIIIIEEES!!!
And thus the 1% wins ever and anon, the 99% eats itself because this country can never ever ever ever allow itself to consider that someone to the fucking left of LIeberman might have a fucking point.
Fuck this shit.
I like the idea of Occupy evolving into a series of flash mobs: Occupy, make your point(s), and leave — after twenty minutes or an hour or three (well-planned and well-supplied) days. Long-term occupation simply isn’t feasible; such encampments inevitably devolve into chaos and worse. That’s not a weakness in the movement, that’s just how humans are. OWS had no exit strategy, but the Powers That Are provided one in the timeless Briar Patch tradition. “Oh, please don’t evict us from these increasingly squalid sites that we had no politically savvy way to abandon.”
@Cris (without an H): I agree 100% with this statement. QFT and all that!
yeah, the media has been focusing on the salacious bit of OWS, and they didn’t do that for the teabaggers. but that’s because there wasn’t a lot of salacious stuff around the teabaggers. there are enormous differences in the way the teabaggers protested and the way the OWS people are doing it. the teabaggers basically kept things neat and orderly. they did their big protests as afternoon rallies with big-name speakers delivering simple, focused, ridiculous, messages. they didn’t try to set up a campsite in the middle of downtown NYC; they didn’t get into violent confrontations with police or residents; they didn’t make themselves into permanent headaches for local businesses; they didn’t try to establish a mini-ultra-democracy and invent new rules of order based on silly hand gestures, etc..
there’s absolutely no reason media should treat them the same, because they’re not the same, in any way.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
Of course, the Tea Party also had the backing and promotion of major news networks and major funding right from the get go.
OWS was a literal grassroots thing that had to grow organically to where it was before. Tea Party could afford to be orderly and mug for the right people in the establishment because they pretty much had that support from the beginning.
“This has done real damage to my business,” said Marc Epstein, the owner of Milk Street Cafe located near the Occupy Wall Street encampment. He also reportedly said that his business has suffered so much that he’s had to lay off 20 people because “nobody’s walking down Wall Street anymore, especially later in the day.”
I know this business. It’s at least four-five blocks from Zucotti Park, which as New Yorkers know it’s actually a pretty fair distance. You know why no one was walking down Wall Street and into his store? It had nothing to do with the demonstrators and everything to do with the police, who put up huge metal barricades ringing the entire length of Wall Street east to west, in order to stop demonstrators from going down there. (Which leaves the question of why shouldn’t the demonstrators have the legal right to march down Wall Street?)
It was the bizarre police over-reaction to the demonstrators, not the demonstrators themselves, who caused the drop in business. OWS wasn’t putting up the metal barricades, the NYPD was. If you want someone to blame, blame Ray Kelly and Mike Bloomberg.
WADR, you’ve badly mis-diagnosed why the public has soured on the OWS movement. SO WHAT WENT WRONG? The movement itself seems to have lost sight of the fact that its original attractiveness to the public was the (anti)”Wall Street” element (the essential substance) and not the “occupy” element of the movement, which boils down to merely tactical theatrics for gaining attention. What’s happened is that the obstinate insistence on setting up indefinite encampments has facilitated altering the media focus onto a battle over maintaining squatter camps in public and business spaces, rather than the main purpose of mobilizing public opinion against economic abuse and injustice. Especially since the movement has so far resisted developing any well-articulated specific goals beyond the a generalized protest against ECONOMIC INJUSTICE by the 1%!, this mis-focus on battles over maintaining specific encampments has transformed the OWS movement into a bunch of DFHs without the 1% and the establishment media even needing to exert any significant effort into mounting an anti-OWS campaign; the OWS campaign is doing a great job undermining itself all on its own.
AGAIN, it would help mightily to turn the tide back if the OWS movement would realize that their purpose is to focus on WALL STREET, not OCCUPY. Daily demonstrations would be just as effective, and would carry very little of the DFH taint. Poll after poll shows that the American public is still strongly sympathetic with the underlying resentment against how the 1% are abusing the 99%. But OWS is perversely making it easier, not harder for the banksters at the moment.
@The Spy Who Loved Me: The “Tea Party” was able to do that because they were organized by FreedomWorks. OWS isn’t the personal property of a handful of billionaires, so you can’t expect the same type of coordinated political action that was ascribed to the “Tea Party” after the fact.
which part do you have a problem with? surely you can’t think that the OWS and Tea Party protests are anything alike, right? i certainly don’t think they are. and the many profound differences like a reasonable cause for differences in media coverage.
@cleek: They were able to do that because the tea bag rallies were just theater, with no purpose other than providing cover for the right wing of the Republican Party. They had no real goals, no real meaning, no real power. OWS has the much more difficult job of actually creating a popular movement from scratch.
look at this post from OWS yesterday. see anything about economic justice? nope. it’s all about how awesome occupation is.
Among the things that make me cringe is when people start chanting “Occupy Everywhere” and “Occupy All Streets.” Despite my involvement, even I don’t really understand what that means.
On the other hand, picking a post just a few hours after the eviction announcing the regroup point doesn’t really say all that much. For instance the top post right now is about the day of action for tomorrow:
There are three different actions planned for tomorrow, none of which involve “occupying.”
This is an organic movement. It’s a slow boat to turn around.
that’s good to see.
I’m not sure I’d agree that it scared the Galtians. I work on Wall Street, they’re not scared at all.
What methods do we have that allow us to achieve change without limiting ourselves to electoral battles?
The Spy Who Loved Me
Thank you for your reply.
We do agree that the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party protest movements, in their means, methods and membership, are nothing alike. However, I would maintain that the media coverage of each movement is related in no more than a trivial way to these factors.
The Tea Party was quickly embraced by the corporate media from its inception. One might even say that its rebranding from the John Birch Society wing of the GOP was inspired by a member of the corporate media, Rick Santelli.
Conversely, print and broadcast media has mocked and denigrated OWS since it began two months ago in Zuccotti Park. I have written a number of comments on this blog pointing out how derelict the NYT has been in its coverage of this major story in its own metropolitan area. Reports from CNN’s Erin Burnett and Carol Costello were so outrageous as to earn brief notoriety.
In addressing today’s PPP result of OWS approval/disapproval, my comment #82 conjectured that polling numbers were not determinative of media coverage. In other words, OWS protesters were no less DFHs several weeks ago when their approval margins were favorable. Also, regardless of dwindling poll numbers, the Tea Party continues to be afforded great respect and attention.
The language employed in your comment #96 conveyed your considerable disregard, even contempt, for the OWS movement. On that matter, you and I deeply disagree.
things change. in the last two weeks, events at OWS sites have grown more confrontational, more violent, less about the always-nebulous message and more about the occupations themselves.
and regardless of who’s to blame for the violence and confrontation, the average person has heard week and week of news stories about protesters fighting with cops, smashing stores, etc.. you can’t blame the press for reporting about violence when there is violence at OWS sites. and that kind of stuff carries a price. if OWS doesn’t want to be thought of as a bunch of violent anarchists, maybe they should do something to stop the violent anarchists from generating so many headlines in its name.
If you want to be popular, open a Facebook or Twitter account. But if you want to point out the inequities of the status quo and voice your opposition to the tyrannical corporate/political power and perhaps change the national dialog, then Occupy is a vaiable way of doing that.
It seems like only yesterday that the polls were showing majority opposition to gays and lesbians getting married and gays serving in the military. But that didn’t stop those who believed that they could make change happen.
I really think a large part of this is just a knee-jerk “Enough with the Occupy thing already!” Just like a lot of Americans came to oppose the Iraq war because they were sick of it cluttering up the evening news’ litany of muggings, fires, weather, and traffic. Most days, I really doubt that we as a nation possess the requisite attention span and stamina to deal with any of our problems in a serious way.
There’s also a lot of folks who dig the anti-Wall Street hype, but shy away from the major, systemic change that many at OWS endorse. At the outset, I figured that the more the anti-capitalist ethos became apparent, the lower support would slip. Everybody would like to pretend that returning to the Clinton-era tax rates will solve all of our problems.
I trust you know this one: the day following the Occupy Oakland police riot three weeks ago, during which peaceful demonstrator Scott Olsen had his skull fractured by a police smoke canister and those seeking to assist him were repelled by a police flash grenade, Kaplan Test Prep Daily published a photo of an Oakland cop playing with an abandoned kitty to accompany its one-paragraph story on the protest. (Yes, I’ve read the risibly feeble explanation from Kaplan’s photo editor.)
“Who’s to blame for the violence and confrontation” is the whole point and is the responsibility of the constitutionally-protected print and broadcast media. Otherwise, it’s just another grotesque example of “both sides do it.”
Yes, “in the last two weeks, events at OWS sites have grown more confrontational, more violent,” and in almost every case it has been city security forces who have been responsible for the aggression. Such stories do seem to carry a price, but that price is never paid by the police. So I will indeed blame the press for their decisions on what violence gets reported and repeated.
Personally, I have visited Zuccotti Park numerous times and have marched with OWS protesters on two occasions thus far. There is an extraordinary level of self-consciousness that discipline and non-violence must be maintained in the face of police provocation. Also, a recognition that provocateurs, anarchist or police-affiliated, are likely in attendance.
Such an attitude is not merely about avoiding arrest. It is an awareness of how rapidly and reflexively media narratives are promulgated. Sadly, even such non-violent behavior is trumped by fables of sin, sloth and squalor.
right. but it’s well-known that our real-life media isn’t really good at that kind of thing. conflict and violence are always sensationalized. fairly assigning guilt or blame is not what they’re known for.
you go to smash the Oakland Starbucks with the press you have, not the press you wish you had.
but if they’re in attendance, and nobody is going to kick them out, it’s probably too late. see also: Anonymous.
without a strong central message to define what the movement is, and by extension what it is not about, it is susceptible to people who just want to fuck shit up. and that hurts everyone.
Yes, they didn’t, because somehow the police didn’t give a shit about all the guns they were waving around. But give some one who doesn’t look starchy or white enough a placard with the words 99% and suddenly they’re the most dangerous person in NYC (or wherever).
In the future, could you possibly, just maybe, try to not phrase these sentiments in such a way that blames the protesters for any police brutality they might experience? It’d show the remotest hint of solidarity with people trying to address the sizable problem of income inequality in the country, and also not be victim blaming.
OWS does not own the issue of income inequality; not is it the only way to express dissatisfaction with the issue; nor are they the only people interested or upset about the issue; nor, in my opinion, is OWS likely to have much of an effect on the problem, if it continues the way it has been. and i see no need to express solidarity with what i see as a fundamentally flawed organization.
And no where did I say that. I just said, if you care about income inequality, which is overtly the central point of OWS, then you should be interested in modifying or influencing (or even replacing, since you seem to view it as hopeless,) the movement. You seem more interested in denigrating it more than any of those.
In any case, this is all a distraction from my actual point, which you haven’t responded to – doesn’t your language legitimize police brutality by framing all protester-police conflicts as a result of protester action (with the commonplace implication that protester action is inherently illegitimate).
Charming. Because as we all know, those west coast liberals (or more specifically the northwest) just aren’t worth listening to. For some reason I doubt you’d be so charitable about some one else writing off your entire region (and yes, there’s undoubtedly some one who’s doing precisely that at this very moment).
The fact that the more influential leftist activists over here actually started building a political consensus with the homeless, with unions, with the urban middle class is somehow repulsive, and contaminates the entire movement. If we want a protest of income inequality, the poor should be noble enough for us to want to help them, rather than arguing that they deserve fair treatment because of common humanity or something.
Just like feminists should be careful not to be too butch, gay rights activists can’t challenge gender norms too much (and consequently are supposed to throw questions of trans* rights overboard), and civil rights protesters couldn’t seem too “militant” (hint: blacks and latinos asking for equal rights will always be labeled by some one as “militant”). Protesters shouldn’t challenge society, but conform to it.
i don’t believe my language does that.
actually, you didn’t say that.
but, no; i am not interested in ‘modifying’ OWS. such a feat is far beyond my capabilities. instead, i’ll just hope something better comes along. i think there’s a real desire for a movement which could help even out the inequalities, but OWS is not that movement.
And you can believe that OWS is a useless or ineffectual political movement for reasons you don’t seem too quick to explain. And you can believe that the Tea Party wasn’t salacious (nevermind all the guns!). And you can believe that it’s not fair or productive for all the supposed riff-raff to take to the streets because it’s not enough for them that issues of economic inequality got talked about with intense hostility for a brief media cycle.
You can believe whatever you want, but that doesn’t make it true.