BBC Marks Occupy Anniversary With A Message of Hope

Monday was the one year anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy Wall St. movement. It was on this day last year that the first activists camped out in Zuccotti Park in New York City, and the media love-fest began. No broadcast organization supported and lauded the Occupiers more than the BBC. So, while I actually expected a little more noise about it from them, the special video reports make their bias evident enough. I guess Mitt Romney’s series of “gaffes” (no word from the BBC yet on whether or not Romney has actually eaten any babies) have taken up all the space and air time.

What did Occupy movement achieve?

I love how this is in the Business section, as if it’s a legitimate economics issue as opposed to a purely political extremist one. But where’s the “What did the Tea Party movement achieve” video?

Not only do we hear excuses from various Occupiers about why they haven’t actually achieved anything (“It takes years for a movement to do anything”), but the BBC found a Columbia University professor to tell you that they actually altered the national consciousness, changed the way we all think. What he really means is that the supportive media latched onto a bit of their lingo and promoted it to the ends of the earth.

In essence, the BBC is still presenting a hopeful picture of the Occupy movement.

This headline of another BBC report accidentally tells you the Occupiers’ real achievements:

Occupy Wall Street anniversary: More than 100 arrested

Getting arrested: that’s pretty much all they have achieved, outside of inspiring hundreds of Left-wing journalists around the country and in Britain and Europe.

The BBC will never dwell like this on what the Tea Party movement has achieved. They have to admit the real achievements in the House of Representatives occasionally in reports, but they do it begrudgingly, and it’s presented as a negative affect.  There was no special feature one year after the movement started, never mind one a year after the BBC actually started reporting on its existence. But their darling Occupiers deserve special treatment, because the BBC staff supports their ideology.

For those new to this blog, here’s a trip down memory lane, a reminder of how the BBC gushed over the Occupiers (comments on older posts have yet to be retrieved from our former Blogspot home).

The BBC Loves Left-Wing Protests

Katty Kay and Mark Mardell Love Far-Left Protests

Laura Trevelyan’s Occupy Poster Boy Is A Raging Anti-Semite

The Sickness of Mark Mardell (officially about the Wisconsin situation but includes positive reference to Occupy)

Matt Danzico uses his Twitter account to solicit donations for the Occupier library

(okay, that one’s not reporting, just blatant evidence of their support.)

Just do a search for Occupy stories on the BBC website. The enthusiasm is evident. And I won’t even get into all the negative Occupier stories and facts that the BBC censored.

For those who have an hour or so to spare, please compare and contrast what Katty Kay and Mark Mardell said about the Occupiers, along with any other impressions you may have gotten from the BBC, with my own report after spending a few hours at Zuccotti Park. Who got it right? Who was more accurate about who the Occupiers were, what they really wanted, and what they were going to accomplish? Who had a better idea of where this was all headed?

BBC Censorship: Occupiers Arrested In Plot To Blow Up Bridge Edition

UPDATE: The BBC just posted a news brief about it after all. But the association of the criminals with the Occupy Movement is censored. Instead, they quote a DoJ mouthpiece saying the plot had nothing to do with the anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death. LOL! We all know what this was going to celebrate, and the BBC won’t admit it.

Today is May Day, a prominent day in Communist history. Some non-Left blogs last year started calling this “Victims of Communism Day”, in remembrance of the tens of millions of victims of Communists in pursuit of their goals.

Today the BBC has done a quick hype of their darling Occupiers, who are using May Day to cause violence and disrupt civilized society. Of course, that’s not how the BBC tells it. The news brief is full of hype and positive vibes about these people.

Censored by the BBC:

Terror Plot Suspects Appear In Court

Federal authorities on Tuesday morning announced that five people were arrested in Cleveland for allegedly conspiring to use explosives to blow up a local bridge.

Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland office, discussed the arrests and subsequent charges related to what they referred to as a “national security case.”

A news conference was held Tuesday morning at the Cleveland FBI headquarters at 1501 Lakeside Avenue.

Fox 8′s Stacey Frey reports that the suspects have been identified as Brandon Baxter, 20; Anthony Hayne, 35; Joshua Stafford, 23; Connor Stevens, 20; and Douglas Wright, 26. Baxter, Hayne and Wright were arrested Monday night by members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on charges of conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday morning states that Baxter, Hayne and Wright are self-proclaimed anarchists who formed a small group that considered a series of plots over several months.

Self-proclaimed anarchists? Try self-proclaimed Occupiers.

Brandon Baxter: Occupy Cleveland organizer

Occupy Cleveland May Day festivities cancelled because five of them were arrested

FBI met the at OWS event

Screenshots of all their Facebook pages

This must be more of that love for humanity and sense of civic duty Katty Kay was telling us about, and which Paul Mason is celebrating on Newsnight. I pretty much saw this coming after spending a few hours among these darlings of the BBC.

What I mean is that these people can keep doing this for a very long time. And eventually, they’re going to realize that it isn’t working.  Will they fess up and become a ready-made cadre of Obamessiah activists?  I don’t know. If not, the emotions will have driven many of them into a frenzied state over time. Fighting the man, speaking truth to power, getting arrested over and over again, and watching a seemingly endless stream of video clips of their comrades fighting with police, getting pepper-sprayed and bundled into police vans will not yield a happy result.  Like we heard from a couple people, they all seriously think that obstructing traffic and infringing on other people’s space and property is their right. Freedom of speech and right to peaceable assembly and all that. What they tragically fail to understand is that, unlike many blacks in the South before the Civil Rights movement, they can exercise their right to vote without fear, and all this glorious civil disobedience is unnecessary extremist nonsense.  The Tea Party movement has proven that they don’t need to do any of this. I found only a couple of people who even remotely grasped this point.  So I think the violent confrontation – always started by the nasty fascist police infringing on their rights, bien sur – will become a kind of ouroburossian (if that’s not a word, it is now) reality. They’ll continuously create situations which they’ll interpret as justifying their cause, projecting onto it false equivalences with everything from Wat Tyler to the German Peasant Rebellion to Gandhi to MLK and the Civil Rights movement. That’s when you’ll really start to see the stuff the BBC told you would never happen over here.

 

Is The Occupy Movement Racist Now?

A while back, the BBC followed the lead of their brethren in the Left-wing US media and tried to get you to think the Occupiers were similar to the Tea Party movement. This was done because – to the media’s dismay – much of the country failed to hate the Tea Party movement and buy into the demonization promoted by the press. So, having resigned themselves to that fact, the media luvvies tried to gain acceptance for the Occupiers by trying to promote the idea that they had similar ideals to the Tea Partiers. The BBC even played a little game of “Who Said It” to help drive home this notion.

Now it appears the two movements do have something in common after all: their opposition to The Obamessiah.

Tea Party and OWS Protest Side-By-Side Against Obama in San Francisco

The unthinkable finally happened last night in San Francisco: the Tea Party shared a protest with the Occupiers, both groups angry with the same person.

And who was this unifier, the only man who can bridge the divide and bring together all sides of the political spectrum? Why, President Obama, of course.

I don’t need to remind anybody here that the Narrative from the BBC has been that opposition to the President is not so much policy-based as it is steeped in racism. They simply refuse to acknowledge that people can be genuinely opposed to His policies for legitimate reasons. See the video of Mark Mardell’s appearance at the BBC College of Journalism for a reminder of his mocking of a Southern woman whom he describes as a racist, as well as his opinion that the Tea Partiers are really, deep down, under the skin, concerned about the Government spending money “on people not like them”.

So, one has to ask now: Is the Occupy Wall St. movement racist?

Over to you, BBC.

OCCUPY UPDATE

As I pointed out in the comments yesterday, the BBC’s Matt Danzico has been touting for book donations for a new Occupy Wall Street library organised by his sister Liz (aka “bobulate”):


(Liz sounds like she could be one of Occupy’s Uptown crowd.)

Even *ahem* impartial BBC journalists such as Matt Danzico might think twice about giving stuff to OWS when they hear of the money swilling around the place.

Last month Danzico interviewed this guy, Thorin Caristo, from the OWS media centre at Zuccotti Park:

Caristo was also interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme following the clearance of Zuccotti last week; he told Evan Davis that the occupiers’ next move would be a takeover of Central Park.

It turns out Mr Caristo is a bit of a divisive character within the OWS set-up. According to audio-plus-transcript posted today by OWSNYC at Livestream (recorded secretly by other occupiers, it seems) he has been taking substantial amounts of money from a rich benefactor called Jean Louis Bourgeois (no, seriously). Here are some screengrabs to give you an idea of the sums being discussed, not to mention a somewhat two-faced attitude towards the guy with the money:

The Livestream clip linked to above is worth watching in its entirety to get a full sense of the bitterness, backstabbing and bitching that’s going down within OWS. There’s talk of chauffeur-driven cars, alienated celebrities, and even a threat to kick someone in the teeth. And if you’re really into the soap opera of it all, you can see one of Thorin’s former friends responding here.

You don’t get any of this stuff on the BBC, do you?

#OccupyFail: Three Occupiers Exercise Their Freedom of Speech by Bringing Mortars in Glass Jars

The BBC will never report this, because their thought-leaders in the US media and Left-wing blogosphere won’t.

3 men claiming to be Occupy Portland protesters arrested in Marion County for possession of explosives

Inside the car, the deputy also found a number of firecrackers and two commercially made mortars inside glass canning jars, designed to be fired into the area during professional pyrotechnic displays. One was found in the floorboard of the vehicle, and the other was allegedly in Luff’s jacket.


The deputy also found two gas masks, protective eye goggles and a safety helmet. All three men told the deputy that they had spent the night at the Occupy Portland demonstration, and they brought the mortars and safety equipment to the demonstration in preparation of the expected confrontation between police and protesters Sunday morning.

The three had been at the demonstration during the confrontation Sunday morning and had left about an hour before the vehicle was stopped. During that confrontation, a police officer was injured by a firework, but the three men denied being involved in the incident.

When asked about the explosives, the three men told authorities that they knew the canning jar would explode, causing glass shrapnel to fly and possibly cause injury.

(emphasis mine)

A reminder of Mark Mardell’s partisan bias and hypocrisy:

Healthcare row gets physical?

We are used to terms like “Nazi” being bandied around in the health debate at overheated town hall meetings.

But a new way of persuading opponents has just emerged – biting off their finger.

It reportedly happened in California and the man took his detached little finger to a local hospital to be sewed back on.

I don’t yet know how he fares. But as we in the media are always on the look-out for real-life case studies to illustrate political debates, this seems ideal.

Did he have insurance and did it cover Severed Pinkie Syndrome?

As he was 65, was he covered by a government-run, taxpayer-funded scheme?

And can any Americans out there explain why this debate has got quite so heated?

Mardell can tut-tut about this non-story, and openly sneer at what he assumes to be the senior citizen’s own hypocrisy, simply because he disagrees with the victim’s political views.

Yet there has been utter silence from him and the BBC about all the violence and foul behavior by their darling Occupiers.  And all this while the BBC has increased spending and hiring for their US coverage.

#OccupyFail.  #BBCFail.

#OccupyFail: You Know Your Movement’s Over When….

For Twitter fans, it’s a hashtag: #OccupyFail

Here’s just a sample of what the BBC doesn’t want you to know about their favorite US political movement.

A Petri Dish of Activism, and Germs

The chorus began quietly at a recent strategy session inside Zuccotti Park, with a single cough from a security team member, a muffled hack between puffs on his cigarette. Then a colleague followed. Then another.

Soon the discussion had devolved into a fit of wheezing, with one protester blowing his nose into the mulch between clusters of tents.  

“It’s called Zuccotti lung,” said Willie Carey, 28, a demonstrator from Chapel Hill, N.C. “It’s a real thing.”

Seems to be spreading. No headlice in NYC yet.

Future of Occupy Burlington encampment uncertain after police clear City Hall Park to investigate man’s death 

The city closed half of City Hall Park and put a halt to all camping at the Occupy Burlington site Thursday night while police investigate a shooting in a tent that cost a 35-year-old man his life. Meanwhile, the movement’s participants mourned a member of their community and planned the future of the encampment.

Just a day after the joyful spontaneity of a Gogol Bordello performance Wednesday night at City Hall Park, Thursday’s shooting that police believe may have been self-inflicted spiraled into a tense confrontation between Burlington police and some protesters over access to the park.

UPDATE: BBC News Online found a moment to acknowledge this story, plus that of the murder in Oakland.  Naturally it’s written in defense of the Occupiers, total sympathy, no effort spared to portray them in the gentlest of lights.  Naturally, the BBC continues to describe it as a “protest against corporate greed and income inequality”.  This is only partially true, and true mainly of the Union organizers and middle-aged and part-time hangers on, who are just your average Leftoids.  As I’ve shown previously, the real organizers and hard-core Occupiers want an end to what they think is Capitalism, and an end to the entire US system of government and rule of law.  That the BBC continues to deny this is not surprising, but still pathetic.

 Mostly Peaceful Occupy Portland Rape Policy: “Nobody Should Contact the Police”

Video at the link.  We keep hearing that the Occupy leadership (when the BBC said this was a leaderless movement, they were misleading you) try to dissuade their fellow campers from going to the police.  Much better to do what they’ve done in Zuccotti Park and set up a women-only anti-rape tent, I guess. 

Man found dead in Pioneer Park, Occupy SLC ordered to leave both camps

The police were already on hand, as they had to turn up earlier to quell a pre-dawn riot that broke out amongst the little darlings of the BBC.

Elite Berkeley Students Upset They’re in the 1%, Throw Occupy Tantrum:

A clique of privileged U.C. Berkeley students, upset that they’re the top 1% of elite students in the state and thus disqualified from participating in the Occupy movement, could no longer contain their frustration on Wednesday and threw an Occutantrum, attempting to “occupy” a few square yards of the 1,200-acre campus. The police dutifully played their roles in the street theater performance, showing up in riot gear and looking scary so the privileged students could shout at them and feel properly revolutionary, as instructed by their professors. Following the script, the police repeatedly removed the handful of occupation tents so that the students could feel sufficiently wronged by authority figures and thereby earn their “Berkeley protest stripes,” which have been a requirement for graduation since 1964.

 Harvard Keeps Occupy Harvard Harvard-Only

The Harvard iteration of the Occupy protests is ironically, appropriately, and unwillingly now the most exclusive Occupy protest in the country. Guards closed and locked the gates to Harvard Yard in the minutes leading up to the inaugural Occupy Harvard general assembly, meaning that the tent city now built in front of the John Harvard statue will be as exclusive as the university itself. Only people flashing Harvard IDs were allowed in the Yard for the 7 p.m. protest, and Harvard police officers stood sentinel into the night to keep the riffraff out.

UPDATE: Apparently they’re so dedicated to the cause they…um…all went home to mater and pater for the weekend.

 Occupy Oakland 11_02_11 shut down Burger King

Video at the link.


Occupy DC becoming increasingly violent, police say

Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier on Monday said the Occupy DC protesters have grown violent, and the police department will adjust its tactics to ensure the public’s safety.

 SoCal Street Cart Vendors Hurting After ‘Occupy’ Group Splatters Blood, Urine

Coffee cart owner Linda Jenson and hot dog cart operators Letty and Pete Soto said they initially provided free food and drink to demonstrators, but when they stopped, the protesters became violent.

Occupy Thugs Taunt Black Security Guard

In which there’s not so much of what Katty Kay said was the Occupiers’ “love of humanity”, but more calling a black man a “slave” and telling him he’s “no one’s brother”.

Head and Body Lice Outbreak Announced at #Occupy Portland Squatters Camp (Video)

After all this, hands up anyone who thinks the majority of Beeboids still support these people, and would join them if they could.  My vote is yes, they still do, which is why Simon Wilson and Matthew Davis don’t think you need to know about this stuff.

During the first week or two of the Occupy activity, the BBC swooped in and did a number of gushing, positive reports.  After establishing the Narrative, and satisfying themselves that they’d gotten the word out and made sure the license fee-payers understood the correct version of events, the Beeboids got bored and moved on to more viable pastures.  They’ve ramped up their coverage of the US, spent more money and hired more staff, and all you get is an endless series of lightweight video magazine segments (some of which helpfully promote the BBC’s Lonely Planet commercial interest – at your expense), the latest Republican candidate faux pas and declaration that Romney is the “real winner here”, Mark Mardell’s slipshod analysis, Jonny Dymond’s one-dimensional drivel, and assorted celebrity gossip.

Does anyone feel that any of this makes you better informed about what’s going on in the US?  Or is that not even the BBC’s goal?

Jonny Dymond’s Biased Sob Story

One of the battalion of Beeboids covering the US these days, Jonny Dymond, has just done an extremely one-sided collection of sob stories for Today about the struggles of the middle class.  He went to a couple of slowly dying cities in Connecticut to create his tapestry of woe, and his agenda is clear.

I say it’s one-sided not because there are tons of stories of rising successes for the middle class he could have provided in the interests of balance, but because of the way Dymond presents the situation in the first place.  Highly selective, and framed in a very narrow-minded fashion.  The whole story is presented as a case study in how the 2008 financial disaster and the subsequent recession has ravaged the middle class, the backbone of the US. But the agenda here is really to support the Occupiers’ cause.

Dymond starts out in a metal parts factory in Prospect, CT, where he wrings his hands over the plight of the workers.  They no longer get the guaranteed annual raises, or the constant overtime which pads the  regular paychecks of anyone on an hourly wage in any industry (especially including the public sector), so their American Dream, he opines, is on hold at best, and possibly even disappearing for good.
The factory boss also laments the plight of his employees.  But in the middle of all this, he casually mentions that Connecticut hasn’t actually has any net job increase in 20 years.  What does that have to do with 2008 or the recession?  He and one of his suffering employees also point out that the food prices and gas prices and taxes are going up and up, which makes things tough for those on an essentially fixed income.  Well, we can all guess what the standard BBC answer to that is:  they need pay rises.  Never mind that Connecticut ranks 47th in crushing taxes which hurt businesses and job growth.

The Tea Party movement – so disparaged by the BBC – wants to lower taxes, something that’s an anathema to Left-wingers like Dymond, so he doesn’t mention the idea. Nor does he mention that the Democrats who run the state recently enacted the largest tax increase in state history. (Over the last two decades, when the state wasn’t run by Democrats, it was run by Bush-style Big Government Republicans, the kind the Tea Party movement has been working to get rid of.) Dymond also better hope that none of these factory workers earn more than $50K pa, or have spouses earning a similar middle-class income, as the Democrats who run Connecticut recently raised state income taxes for both.  These aren’t even the “millionaires and billionaires” against whom the President often rails, either.

Food prices going up?  Even the Guardian admits that this is in large part due to the Warmists forcing biofuel down our throats, causing edible corn prices to skyrocket, which drives up everything else.  Who’s robbing the American dream here, Jonny?

One of those responsible is the Democrat former Senator, Chris Dodd, who was partially responsible for driving the mortgage crisis, and got a sweetheart deal from one of the failed sub-prime companies. Never mind all the campaign largesse he got from the industry.

One of the staples of the American Dream Dymond mentions is home ownership.  Well, he better hope none of his struggling middle class workers in Connecticut own homes these days, as the Democrats who run the state have made property taxes there 50% higher than the national average.  Sure, these geniuses think they’re doing to it soak the evil rich bankers and David Letterman who live within commuting distance of New York City, but the unintended consequence – as always in these cases – is that hurts the middle class most.  Dymond couldn’t be bothered to find this out, as it would detract from his Narrative.

If that’s not bad enough, they also just raised the state sales tax from 6% to 6.35% (still significantly lower than New York, but then New Jersey has no sales tax on retail good at all), and eliminated tax exemptions for all kinds of things which affect these middle class factory workers, like heating oil and the sacred property tax credit.  They even killed the tax exemption for products which help people quite smoking. At the same time, they jacked up taxes on cigarettes.  I hope none of those struggling factory workers smoke, or if they do they’re not thinking of quitting any time soon.  So much for the American Dream, eh, Jonny?  As we all know, and which the BBC has mostly kept from you, some states not controlled by Democrats have cut taxes and added jobs. Even New York, with the highest tax burden in the country, the Democrat Governor is trying to fix the budget without raising taxes. But that doesn’t help the Agenda, now, does it?  So don’t bring it up.

To tie it all together, Dymond goes to the city of Hartford to meet up with his darling Occupiers.  He manages to find one of them who hasn’t pulled a knife on someone.  This Occupier laments that we’ve all been lied to, that there’s no such thing as the American Dream.  What Dymond fails to realize is that this, just like the factory bosses’ statement about no net job growth for the last 20 years, also has nothing to do with the recent financial crisis and recession. This Occupier means that there has never been an American Dream available to everyone willing to work for it.  He’s not talking about a temporary rough time we need to fix at all.

This keeps happening with BBC reports on this issue.  On the one hand they say that the Occupy movement is inspired by anger at the greedy bankers who caused the financial crisis that everyone else has to pay for.  Ask yourself how many times you’ve heard someone (usually a trade union mouthpiece or Labour politician or Robert Peston) say that people are being forced to pay for a crisis they didn’t cause. On the other hand, they moan about income inequality and corporate greed. But if this is all anger at a recent phenomenon, why do the Occupiers keep saying that this has always been a problem, and everything has always been bad?  It’s because the BBC keeps misleading you about the whole story, as Dymond is doing here.

This is a very biased report.  Everything is framed from one side of the issue, and facts which detract from the Narrative are swept under the rug.

BBC Censorship: Occupier Ugliness Edition

Has anyone else noticed that the BBC has gone totally silent about the Occupy Wall St. movement in the US? With the exception of a couple stories about the violence innocent exercising of rights in Oakland, where they shut down a shipping port and attacked police were victims of unprovoked brutality from The Man, there has been scarcely a peep from BBC News for days.

After a flurry of encomia impartial reports on how nice and earnest and well-meaning the Occupiers are, the more violent and unhinged they became, the quieter the Beeboids got. Just two days after the original Occupiers hit Zuccotti Park, Daniel Nasaw tried to tie them directly to the Democrat/Union protests in Wisconsin (which the BBC also reported dishonestly), claiming that this was the “birth of a movement”.  It all seemed so wonderfully clear then, didn’t it?

The Occupier activity around the country is one of the most important stories going lately, especially since the Oakland City Council is about to cave in to the violence and now support the Occupiers. But the BBC seems to be censoring nearly all news of it. They’ve gone silent because they don’t want you to know about things like this:

Zuccotti protesters put up women-only tent to prevent sexual assaults

Zuccotti Park has become so overrun by sexual predators attacking women in the night that organizers felt compelled to set up a female-only sleeping tent yesterday to keep the sickos away.*

 Or this:

Occupy protest turns violent outside Washington Convention Center

UPDATE 11/7: Occupy DC becoming increasingly violent, police say

Citing injuries to five people outside the Washington Convention Center on Friday night, the mayor urged the demonstators to show restraint so that their protests are not discredited by violence.

“We will not tolerate behavior that jeopardizes public safety,” Gray said.

Lanier said in a statement that the protesters have become “increasingly confrontational and violent toward uninvolved bystanders and motorists.”
Related Examiner Occupy DC coverage
Jesse Jackson downtown Monday, compares Occupy to civil rights movement
D.C. police chief says Occupy protesters getting more violent

Four of the injured people appear to be protesters themselves. A fifth injured person was a 78-year-old woman who was knocked down while attempting to get around the Occupy DC’s blockade of a dinner for a conservative group Friday.

“That is no longer a peaceful protest,” Lanier said.

And this is coming from the DC police who generally support the Occupiers’ cause so much that the 911 operators hung up on a couple people inside the AFP event who called to complain about Occupiers blocking all exits and preventing people from leaving.

Or this:

Occupy Chicago protesters interrupt Wisconsin governor’s speech here

The Republican governor, who appeared before about 300 people at a public policy breakfast at Chicago’s Union League Club, saw his speech interrupted by union-backed Occupy Chicago protesters for about six minutes before they left the event.

Or this:

Occupy Boston Occupies Israeli Consulate

According to the Twitter feed of @kade_ellis, chants included, “hey hey, Ho ho! Israeli apartheid’s got to go!,” “long live the intifada! Intifada intifada!,” “not another nickel! Not another dime! No more money for Israel’s crimes!,” and “Viva viva Palestina!”

Or this:


A Chill Descends On Occupy Wall Street; “The Leaders of the allegedly Leaderless Movement”

On Sunday, October 23, a meeting was held at 60 Wall Street. Six leaders discussed what to do with the half-million dollars that had been donated to their organization, since, in their estimation, the organization was incapable of making sound financial decisions. The proposed solution was not to spend the money educating their co-workers or stimulating more active participation by improving the organization’s structures and tactics. Instead, those present discussed how they could commandeer the $500,000 for their new, more exclusive organization. No, this was not the meeting of any traditional influence on Wall Street. These were six of the leaders of Occupy Wall Street (OWS).

What on earth? The BBC told me that this was a leaderless movement, which is why the poor lambs had so much difficulty getting a clear message out to the media.

Occupy Wall Street’s Structure Working Group (WG) has created a new organization called the Spokes Council. “Teach-ins” were held to workshop and promote the Spokes Council throughout the week of October 22-28. I attended the teach-in on Sunday the 23rd.

According to Marisa Holmes, one of the most outspoken and influential leaders of OWS, the NYC-GA started receiving donations from around the world when OWS began on September 17. Because the NYC-GA was not an official organization, and therefore could not legally receive thousands of dollars in donations, the nonprofit Alliance for Global Justice helped OWS create Friends of Liberty Plaza, which receives tax-free donations for OWS. Since then, Friends of Liberty Plaza has received over $500,000. Until October 28, anybody who wanted to receive more than $100 from Friends of Liberty Plaza had to go through the often arduous modified consensus process (90% majority) of the NYC-GA—which, despite its well-documented inefficiencies, granted $25,740 to the Media WG for live-stream equipment on October 12, and $1,400 to the Food and Medical WGs for herbal tonics on October 18.

At the teach-in, Ms. Holmes maintained that while the NYC-GA is the “de facto” mechanism for distributing funds, it has no right to do so, even though she acknowledged that most donors were likely under the impression that the NYC-GA was the only organization with access to these funds. Two other leaders of the teach-in, Daniel and Adash, concurred with Holmes.

Ms. Holmes also stated at the teach-in that five people in the Finance WG have access to the $500,000 raised by Friends of Liberty Plaza. When Suresh Fernando, the man taking notes, asked who these people are, the leaders of the Structure WG nervously laughed and said that it was hard to keep track of the “constantly fluctuating” heads of the Finance WG. Mr. Fernando made at least four increasingly explicit requests for the names. Each request was turned down by the giggling, equivocating leaders.

And this is from an Occupier comrade.  Oh, dear, how the anarchists hate it when they get what they didn’t understand they actually wanted.  And only a couple weeks ago they all seemed so warm and fuzzy about their cute little group democracy.  I got the impression from my visit to Zuccotti Park that this is how it was going to be, and it turns out that I was right.

So how about it, BBC?  Where are you?  You were so sure this was an important movement only a couple weeks ago, yet now it’s as if you’re bored and have moved on. Reality not fitting the Narrative?  The double standard between the BBC’s coverage of the Occupiers and their reporting on the Tea Party movement couldn’t be more obvious.  Hey, maybe the BBC’s silence about all this now is a belated attempt to make up for the fact that they censored all news about the Tea Party movement for the first two months of its existence.

What disgraceful behavior for a news organization which claims to be superior to the rest of them.

* I blame Bloomberg and the NYPD for this and not the Occupy movement, to be honest, as they’ve let drugged out homeless men hang out in the park. Although their childish refusal to allow police to do their jobs inside their precious encampment is also a factor. There are rumors that the police actually direct the homeless there with promises of free food.  But that should be a scandalous story in and of itself: evil billionaire politician and oppressive authorities using a sick tactic to secretly undermine the sainted protest with no regard for safety or decency.  How about it, BBC?  Any of you dozen or so intrepid young digital media geniuses looking for a big scoop?  I won’t hold my breath.

The Unbearable Whiteness of Occupying

Here’s one for you:

Internal Survey Confirms #Occupywallstreet Is Overwhelmingly White, Janeane Garofalo Unavailable For Comment

Fast Company conducted an internal survey of the #OWS crowd and found it to be as white as the line-up at MSNBC.

Specifically 81.2% white and 1.6% black.

The funniest part? The survey results were made into an infographic which was being distributed by some #OWS members until other #OWS members looked at the results of the survey and freaked out causing arguments and fights.

This wasn’t an outside party saying it, either. The guy behind the study is a data analyst for an advertising company.  And he is one of the Occupiers.

Full graphic of the study is below the fold.
Harrison Schultz claims to have been with the Occupier movement from Day One at Zuccotti Park.  In the piece I’ve linked to, he constantly refers to his “comrades”.  He also claims that this isn’t political like the Tea Party, but is in fact a “post-political” movement.  Anyone even slightly paying attention will have noticed that what these people actually want is good old-fashioned anarchy.  Problem is, they’re so deluded, so caught up in the emotion, that they think they really can achieve a new kind of society where there are national organizations, no corporations, and no national democratic system, but there will still be MacBooks, a well-managed and maintained national infrastructure, high quality backpacks and free wifi.  My own discussions with his comrades have shown that.

Now about that graphic. This was published by Fast Company, a hard-Left magazine which promotes innovation and technology.

The Occupiers are hideously white. And this was published in a magazine which only recently was cherry-picking photos to create the impression that it wasn’t the case. So where is the BBC on this?  Nowhere.

Let’s recall just how much they tried to tell you that the Tea Party movement was overwhelmingly white, which in itself was supposed to be proof of perfidy, and tried to create a strong association with racism.  Mark Mardell, the BBC’s top man in the US, still believes that the Tea Party is driven by crypto-racism.

Some of us noticed when this all started a few weeks ago (and the BBC rushed to tell you about how important it was, and what they believed it to be) that the Occupiers were mostly white.  Even the BBC’s first vox pops segment featured only white people. Mardell had to go out of his way to find a person of color. Yet this has remained unremarked by the same people who were sure that a lacuna of black people at a handful of events in the Midwest gave them the right to slander millions of people.  If there was a significant percentage of non-whites, the Beeboids would be going out of their way to remind you how superior they are to the Tea Party movement.

So I’m calling out the BBC right now.  Mark Mardell, Katty Kay, Laura Trevalyan, Daniel Nasaw, Matt Danzico, Jonny Dymond, Simon Wilson (behind the scenes), Franz Strasser, Caroline Hepke, Michelle Fleury, Andy Gallacher, and all the anonymous Beeboids furiously churning out content for BBC News Online, and even the various Washington-based Beeboids:  Where the hell are you on this?  Furthermore, why aren’t you comparing the clashes with police, the illegal encampments, vandalism, and calls for violence from the Occupiers with the genteel, law-abiding, civic-minded behavior of the Tea Party movement.  Where are your suggestions of guiding hands, or admissions that people from mainstream US media are enabling and coaching them?

BBC reporting on the US is a disgrace.

Occupy What Now?

On David Vance’s “That General Assembly” post from yesterday, DB posted a comment (his reply to mine at the top of the thread) about how a well-known clothing company, Men’s Wearhouse (an off-the-rack suit chain) spoke out in support of the Occupiers.  The dopey bearded CEO decided to have a store in Oakland put a sign of solidarity in the window.

DB posted this picture of said window:

The message apparently went over the Occupiers’ pointy little unwashed heads, so they smashed it.

So, do Katty Kay and Laura Trevalyan and the rest of the comrades working for the BBC in the US still think these people want to sit down with their opponents and work out how to fix the system?  Can we admit what’s going on yet?

Experience Occupy Wall St.: In Person, In Their Own Words And Mine

Where to begin?  First, let me say that of course I went down there with some preconceived notions and certain expectations, based on everything that’s been in the news and online about the Occupiers. My intentions were twofold: show what was going on without prejudice or cherry-picking, just letting the scene speak for itself, as well as engage in conversation with as many people as I could, asking questions to learn not just their motivations and what they expected to accomplish, but how they expected to achieve their goals.  Needless to say it was fascinating, and very educational.  I realize this is an exceedingly lengthy post (probably an hour’s worth of stuff to get through), but there’s a lot to talk about, and I believe that this is important.  As I’ll show here, all of my suspicions have been proven correct over the last week or so.  Furthermore, I believe this will show just how much the BBC has failed on this story.

Here’s what I saw walking around the encampment. Full report follows afterward. There are also clips of conversations below the fold.  All video hosted by EyeTube.


I spent over two hours walking in and around Zuccotti Park – the epicenter of the Occupy movement – taking photos and video, talking to as many people as possible. I tried as much as I could not to be like Mark Mardell or other Beeboids at a Tea Party event, and honestly tried to listen to what these people had to say, taking them at their word, and not let my prejudices color anything or prevent me from changing my mind. I’ll let others decide for themselves how successful I was or wasn’t on that score. Unlike a professional interviewer, although I did think of a few things in advance, I didn’t have a prepared list of questions written down, or notes to refer to while we talked. The result was that I often strayed off topic, missed opportunities, and struggled for the right thing to say. I realize I was trying to cover too much at once, something that wouldn’t happen if I was doing a report aimed at getting a specific angle or story.  I also didn’t get professional-quality video, as I was using only a little cheap handheld camera, and spent more time looking at the person with whom I was speaking than into the screen to see what I was shooting. I got bumped into a lot, people walking in front of me, etc. Quite frankly, I’m pretty sure that if I did have any of that proper prep, I’d never have gotten in and up close like I did and had so many candid conversations.

Apologies in advance for the frame drops, etc. Final Cut Pro didn’t like some of the files. I didn’t always get the best shot, either, as I was just walking around with my little camera, trying to engage in conversation rather than act like an instigator cameraman constantly looking at the screen.

So what did I learn?  First, I discovered that, just like Katty Kay said, many of them were nice, and willing to talk. And they nearly all seemed to be rather intelligent, which is refreshing. I’ll chalk that up to this being New York City, though. That doesn’t mean they aren’t filled with rage, or willing to do whatever it takes to get their way.  It just means that they’re nice enough to talk to on a one-to-one basis. Many came across as well-meaning, hearts in the right place.  Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that their heads were located a couple of feet below that. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I heard a lot of those good intentions expressed by the Occupiers.

However, there were quite a few who were not so nice, who clearly resented anyone questioning their opinions. I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of the leaders. Oh, wait, sorry, this is a “leaderless” group, right?  Yeah, well, we’ll get to that later.  In any case, I found that the people with the worst attitude were those who were just stopping by to show their support. Quite a few typical Left-wing fascists milling around, who were convinced that anyone who didn’t agree with them was evil and ignorant, even when they were shown up to be woefully lacking in their own command of the facts.  But this is about the Occupiers themselves.

I’ll admit that I went down there with the preconceived notion that these people were all far-Left ideologues. As it turned out, only one person turned out to be anything but that.  Of course, it’s silly to have expected otherwise. But there was one guy there handing out fliers about supporting small businesses. It was for something called “The American Lender”. The website doesn’t give much information about their backing, but it was nice to hear from someone not entirely hating capitalism, full stop. Everyone else who talked about small businesses, supporting the little guy, etc., came from an anti-corporate stance.  But it was more than that.  It seemed like everybody who expressed support for free market ideals really didn’t want what most of us consider to be that at all.  They were anti-Capitalist, and wanted to create some kind of localized, mom-and-pop economy, where there was no mass production, no mass consumption, and no corporations at all.  How this was going to create a prosperous national economy which raised everyone out of poverty and created opportunities for advancement in any field was not only unclear, but nobody seemed to have considered it.  This was schoolboy fantasy stuff for the most part.

Before going any further, though, a word about Zuccotti Park itself.  It’s privately owned, by a developer corporation called Brookfield Properties.  By New York law, a developer gets permission to own and manage (key word, there) what would otherwise be a public park, in exchange for the right to have greater density of property ownership in the area.  In other words, Brookfield gets to own more office and/or residential buildings than a developer is normally allowed, because they manage the public park.

But dig it: this form of purely capitalist corporate influence on government is what makes this little extravaganza possible.  You see, part of the deal is that the private owner must make the park available to the public 24/7, whereas a state or city-owned park closes at midnight, and the cops kick everybody out.  That’s why the Occupiers chose this space, yet the irony seems lost on them.  Oh, and the President is about to throw some taxpayer money down yet another green toilet…sorry…give money to crony corporate capitalists…damn…invest in green energy and jobs for an alternative energy company, this time owned by Brookfield.  I’m not too worried about Brookfield sneakily calling the national guard to remove the Occupiers or anything, are you?

“Democracy”

At one point, I spoke with a couple of Occupiers who were washing the communal dishes. It turned out that they were more non-voters, didn’t trust the system, etc.  But they were very enthusiastic about the cute little “general assembly”.

(I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask the guy who mentioned boycotting all corporations if that included Apple, or if they wanted the people donating the generators etc. that enabled their righteous cause to also stop funding corporations.  My failure there.)

One can see how this kind of micro-democratic scenario where everyone feels a personal, direct connection to the outcome can be fulfilling. But it’s also very misleading. Unfortunately, it was clear that this student-style democracy simply reinforced their belief that the system at large wasn’t working for them, and could no longer do so. They also had no idea how they would ultimately achieve their goals. Not a good sign.

My suspicions that this was misleading seem to be proving more correct than I could have imagined.  Apparently now there’s a lot of infighting going on amongst these happy campers. (Note: the NY Daily News is a very Left-wing paper these days. They’re in full support of the Occupiers’ anger, so if they’re reporting trouble, you know it’s bad.)  So much so that there are now areas of the park where some of them don’t feel safe at night.  Somebody tell Katty Kay and Laura Trevalyan. As you can see from the video, it’s not a very big space.  Anyone familiar with the history of anarchist movements won’t be at all surprised that this is the inevitable result of such self-fulfilling emotions.

One of the photos in my first post from Zuccotti Park featured a sign condemning food corporations and calling for people to support small farmers.  In the caption, I said that, while this was a nice sentiment, it wouldn’t help the urban poor.  I support my local (okay, I live in NYC, so an hour or more away) farmers and fishermen.  I buy most of my produce and all of my fish from the weekly farmers’ market in my neighborhood because the quality is great and the price is mostly comparable to big-box grocery stores. I also occasionally buy stuff from a locally-sourced farmers’ cooperative, which is arranged and patronized by a bunch of people in my neighborhood. I’m not a pretentious “locavore”, and I don’t care about their carbon footprint. I just like the product, the convenience, and  the generally reasonable prices. That’s your free market right there.  But people living in other neighborhoods, or, for example, in desert regions or less densely populated areas, don’t have access to this stuff.  I’m fortunate that I don’t have to drive an hour to get to the nearest store, one which generally will rip me off for the convenience.

I also like to support local and small businesses wherever I can, because they provide the vast majority of jobs in the country. Family businesses are also one of the best ways to pass on a legacy of success to one’s children, and provide opportunities for achieving beyond their parents.  Of course, achieving beyond something is not what the Occupiers are about. They mostly want to punish achievers who earn more than some arbitrary income level which changes depending upon their mood.  Earning anything more than that isn’t fair, you see.  For example, one of the photos in my slideshow featured this “unemployed seamstress”.  She wanted to tax the rich more, because she didn’t make as much money as they did, and was unaware of the realities of the tax system.  Mentioning Herman Cain was met with a death look from her husband (off camera).

In any case, all the lip-service paid to supporting the free market and small businesses was generally a smokescreen for being anti-corporate. Which brings me to that anti-corporate message.  Nobody will argue with the notion that corporations have too much influence on politicians. Lobbying and corruption is a serious problem, something on which conservatives and liberals can agree.  But the grievances of the Occupiers go beyond that. Everything was about “corporate greed” and “corporations control the government”, which are two different issues.  But it was all the same to these people, as the bottom line was anti-Capitalism.  Corporations are symbolic of their enemy.  Wal-Mart and Target allow working-class people to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle? Screw that: the CEOs make too much money and the workers don’t. All those MacBook pros and iPhones and North Face tents and Sony cameras the Occupiers were using to attack big corporations?  Shut up, that’s not the point.  The internet?  Invented and run by magic fairies, free to all with no silly business and nasty profit model needed.  You get the idea.

The problem of too much corporate influence in government is very real. But their answer wasn’t to clean up Washington by, for example, putting a moratorium on politicians and generals becoming lobbyists or getting automatic directorships or seats on corporate Boards the instant they leave office. They mostly wanted to end corporations, full stop.  This is a serious disconnect between reality and their dreams, something which I was to learn was part of the very foundation of the Occupier movement.

Violence

Nobody I spoke with advocated violence. Some of them had no idea that their comrades elsewhere were calling for violence, and the ones that were aware seemed to genuinely regret it. Of course, we’re talking about two types of violence here. The more obvious kind is like in the “England Riots” from August, which the BBC initially described as grievances against nasty Tory cuts and income inequality (Is that foreshadowing or what? Revealing of a certain inherent mindset, no?). In that scenario, the “protesters” took the initiative, attacking police, property, etc.  A lot of these people see getting arrested as a badge of honor, as if they’re defending Rosa Parks’ right to sit in front of the bus, or of those little girls to go to their local whites-only school in Alabama. The other kind of violent scenario is like what we saw when the Occupiers tried to take over the Brooklyn Bridge, obstructing traffic and inconveniencing their fellow citizens. There’s a difference between exercising one’s right to free speech, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, and infringing on other people’s rights and property.  Nobody I spoke with understood the difference, and that’s a problem. Actually, I seriously doubt any of the Beeboids do, either.  Personally, I say that your rights and freedoms end where mine begin. Contrary to what Katty Kay alleged, their love for humanity only goes as far as their own desires. You want to get home from a long day at work to your wife and kids? Screw you, evil rich oppressor!  Your rights are worthless because you’re morally inferior. We’re excercising our rights, and our cause is just.

Remind me again how many people have been arrested since the Tea Party movement started. While you’re at it, remind me how many Tea Party protests didn’t have permits to operate, and had to be kicked out so the city could clean up after them at taxpayer expense.  The only instances of confrontation as far as I’m aware are when Democrat politicians blocked citizens from their rights to freedom of speech and presence at public hearings.  Yet the ludicrous Mark Mardell only wrings his hands about things getting physical when a senior citizen Tea Partier gets assaulted and ends up biting off the fingertip of his attacker.

Anti-Semitism

I honestly didn’t see much evidence of anti-Semitism at all. While I did see a couple of people with signs complaining about Israel, I definitely didn’t see the kind of stuff we’ve seen in videos and pictures from this and other Occupier groups. In fact, the one person I did speak with who was complaining about Israel seemed genuinely to be doing it from a sense of concerned patriotism (regarding that unfortunate attack on the USS Liberty), nothing to do with a specific Jewish element.  There was one guy with a sign whining about Israel influencing the US into wars and all that, but he was engaged in a pretty civil conversation with an orthodox Jew at the time.  So it’s pretty hard to get that alarmed.

I’m sure, however, that once some of those ugly anti-Semitic images went public, the organizers (hey, the BBC told me that this is a leaderless movement – ed.) abjured their comrades against such displays, so I didn’t see any of the really nasty stuff. Also, it became quickly apparent to me that trying to do a Today-style ambush interview would get me nowhere, and the confrontational, accusatory approach just felt wrong at the time. So maybe I missed some opportunities to show up a few anti-Semites. It just didn’t seem an appropriate way to go. Plus, I look Jewish, so most likely any genuine Jew-haters would have dodged me anyway.  I suppose I could have just yelled out, “How many people here blame the Jews for all this,” but that would have been counter-productive.

Still, we do know from evidence from other Occupier groups that there is an element of anti-Semitism in this movement, typically tied into the anti-banker/anti-corporate/anti-evil-rich types. And yes, I’m aware of this video. I didn’t see him there on Sunday (at least, I don’t think he was the guy I saw holding up a sign saying that Bloomberg felt his billions threatened), and it looks like he’s actually just outside the park and not part of the Occupier encampment, and seems instead to be, like quite a few others, somebody with his own issues jumping on the bandwagon. Hey, for all I know he could be one of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s congregants.  In any event, I’m sure as hell not going to be like Mark Mardell and tell you that I see anti-Semitism everywhere even though I see precious little evidence of it.  So that issue will have to be left for another day.  On Sunday, it was irrelevant, as far as I could tell. As it happened, there were a few sympathetic Jews there, and as I showed in my slideshow, I also saw a flier posted by a group calling themselves “Occupy Judaism” (a rather unfortunate name) inviting all to join “traditional egalitarian and gender-neutral” (an oxymoron) celebration of the Jewish holiday of Simchas Torah.  They wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it if there was an underlying pulse of anti-Jew sentiment.. Really, I think that anti-Semites are just part of the intersection in the giant Venn Diagram of Left-wing agitators.  Although, this was NYC, so your mileage may vary.

In the end, just like the endless charges of racism against the Tea Partiers, dismissing this whole Occupier deal as anti-Semitism won’t inform anyone of what they’re really about, what they’re really doing, or what their actual goals are.  I think that’s more important.

However, it sure seemed like this group was – *gasp* – overwhelmingly Christian.  Wake me up when the Beeboids start fretting over the religious bent of the Occupiers, like they did about the Tea Party movement. Can anyone imagine this happening outside St. Paul’s?

Goals

The BBC told us that, while the Occupiers were full of energy and anger at the economic situation, they were unclear about their goals.  Or, at least, the Beeboids came away unclear about them.  I found that to be decidedly not the case at all.  Everyone I spoke to was very, very clear about their goals, and we all know by now what those were.  What I learned was that they are mostly very unclear about how to achieve them. Contrary to what Katty told us, the anger was up front, first and foremost, and I heard precious little about anyone’s “love for humanity”.  She was also completely wrong about their priority was “sitting down with their political opponents to figure out the country’s economic problems”.  These people were convinced that by copying the Egyptians in Tahrir Square, and by taking over the streets of their cities, and occupying government and bank buildings, they could bring the government to their knees and destroy the current system.  I heard this expressed over and over. That’s not trying to figure out anything. As far as they were concerned, they already had it figured out and were going to keep occupying whatever they could until they got what they wanted. No discussion, no debate.  I have no idea where Katty got her ideas from, and suspect she made it up out of whole cloth because she’s used to debating issues on TV and projected that onto the Occupiers.  We now know it was all baloney because the BBC itself is describing the Occupiers at St. Paul’s as an anti-Capitalist protest.

Let’s compare this with the Tea Party movement. The whole point of the Tea Party was to stir up the voters. People went to town hall meetings, city council meetings, politicians’ public appearances, and went out and voted in elections. In contrast, with a handful of exceptions, the Occupiers were non-voters.  Out of the dozens I spoke to, practically the only ones who were conscientious voters with a clue were these people:

(The woman speaking off camera about how Herman Cain would supposedly take away all our freedoms wasn’t an Occupier, but rather a comfortable Manhattanite who came down to show her support. I had to look up Cain’s actual position on both abortion and home healthcare for the disabled, because I hadn’t heard about what they claimed. As it turns out, these people’s concerns over their independence was already being threatened by Democrat Gov. Cuomo as part of the recently agreed plan to cut the budget and fix the state finances without raising taxes. Instead of continuing to let the home care providers bill Medicare directly, Cuomo – apparently foolishly – turned over the payment of home healthcare providers to for-profit HMOs, who in turn would bill Medicare.  This was supposed to save money.  What it did was let the HMOs close facilities, since government tracking pretty much begins and ends when they see the invoice. Personally, I don’t see how adding a layer of bureaucracy is ever going to save money, so Gov. Cuomo probably screwed that one up.  It’s not the same thing as putting more money into institutions instead, as one woman was worried about.  But Herman Cain hasn’t made any of that part of his platform, so it seems they were off base there.  This is all state-level stuff, and nothing he’s said so far is relevant to it.  Still, their concern for their own situation is legitimate. Yet they were slightly embarrassed that they were acting and voting out of self-interest.  Everyone does that to some degree, and it’s not as if they had no larger concerns. One of them was proud that she started voting at age 18, and would always do so. The chasm between the integrity of these people and the other 99% of the Occupiers (see what I did there) is staggering.  As these three were voters with the sense of civic duty so lacking in most of the Occupiers, I say more power to ’em.

Neither they nor I knew it at the time, but the day before I was there, some Occupiers took the protest to the front lawn of Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE and the President’s Jobs Czar.  It’s the President’s own fault for stoking the class war.  Payback’s a bitch, eh?

As for abortion, Cain doesn’t like abortion, but has said that the government should stay out of it.  Like so many emotion-based Leftoids, the woman who told me I had my facts wrong had no grasp of how US government works.  Roe v. Wade was decided in the Judicial branch of government, not the Executive or Legislative, so that’s the only way it’s going to get overturned. In short, the US isn’t a banana republic or any kind of country where the Executive holds all the marbles. Typical fear-mongering, typical ignorant certitude from the “women’s reproductive rights” crowd there. No wonder I hadn’t heard that Cain was going to take away everyone’s freedoms. FFS.)

The rest of them? They either voted for The Obamessiah and weren’t going to vote for Him or anyone else in 2012, or didn’t vote at all and wouldn’t bother because – and I’m not making this up – they believed that Bush stole one or the other election.  Every time I suggested that this wouldn’t happen again because Bush was no longer in charge, I was brushed off with suspicions about Diebold (the company who makes the electronic voting machines), or claims that the corporations decided who would be elected, don’t trust the system, etc.  In short, these people don’t have the sense of civic duty that Katty claimed they did.  They won’t be voting for change.  Instead, they want to destroy the entire system in favor of…well…they’re not really sure.  Some kind of pre-industrial society, but with MacBooks and iPhones and YouTube, I think.

I kept asking what they thought they were achieving if they weren’t going to vote, because so far nobody in Washington was sitting down and talking about ending corporations or ending lobbying. What’s going to happen next?  Nobody knew.  They all expected that they’d just keep on doing this, getting arrested here and there, and exercise their right to peaceful assembly until…um…they got the word out…or something.  That’s the number one problem I saw here: no end game, no exit strategy.  They fully believed that what they were doing would work, just like what happened in Egypt.  They honestly all viewed themselves as being oppressed by a dictatorship, and that their desires were equivalent to those of Martin Luther King, Jr., or of the Syrians trying to get out from under the thumb of a police state.  No joke. It’s a complete disconnect from reality.

It seems that the Beeboids who went to Zuccotti Park or have visited with Occupiers elsewhere in the country sympathized entirely with their anti-corporate message (they keep telling you about the horrors of “income inequality”, right?), and supplanted the actual goals and thoughts of the Occupiers with their own more mild form of Socialism. That’s why the reality of what these people are about gets watered down so much in BBC reports. The Beeboids figure that, holding all the approved thoughts and – crucially – being part of an elite state-funded organization, they themselves will be part of the nomenklatura, protected from the negative consequences of a quasi-Marxist system that the rest of us will suffer.

Media Savvy

It’s important for everyone to understand just how clued-in the organizers…oops, sorry, there are no leaders, yeah…the Occupiers are in getting their message out and dealing with the media. I expected to see more anti-Jewish sentiment there and the usual Class War/SWP stuff, based on images and videos we’ve seen of anti-Semitism from Occupiers around the country, including in New York.  It turns out, though, that the organizers figured this out and have been warning people to clean it up. Their own website includes instructions not to bring controversial signs that have the anarchy “A”, or say “Socialism” or “Communism” because those “will scare people”.  Basically, these guys know exactly what they’re doing.  You think the Tea Party did this right from the start?

While walking around the encampment, I got the impression that this media intelligence wasn’t an accident. It turns out that my suspicions were correct.  They have professional mainstream media people coaching them, or even acting as spokespeople. So it’s no wonder that the mainstream media has sanitized their message so much, and that you keep hearing that they just want to “fix the system” and they’re all on the side of the angels.  I haven’t found evidence of a BBC employee doing this yet, but we already have proof of their support. The media (except Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart, yeah) are all on their side, and are enabling them.  That’s the reason why the Tea Party movement was met with radio silence until April 15: the mainstream media was against them, so did their best to censor all news of it. For a while, other than Fox News, only local media even acknowledged its existence. It was only when there were hundreds of gatherings around the country that the mainstream media start talking about it. That was when the BBC first dared to report it, and when Kevin Connolly stated that he could detect the guiding hand of a national organizer, while he insulted us all with a sexual innuendo. Wake me up when the BBC does the same for the Occupiers.  And no, I’m not going to let that go until it’s removed from the website and there’s an official apology from Connolly and/or the BBC.

This Was Not A Spontaneous, Grass-Roots Movement

Unlike the Tea Party movement, which started with a spontaneous anti-tax rally organized by a St. Louis housewife, Occupy Wall St. was organized months in advance by a small cadre of professional rabble-rousers. They first announced their intentions publicly on June 14. That original anti-tax rally which morphed into the Tea Party after Rick Santelli’s rant, however, could not have been planned so far in advance because the President didn’t even take office and launch into His Socialist agenda until January 31st.  So that’s one myth busted.  Secondly, the organization – and I do not use that term lightly – of “general assemblies” and “democracy” has been spread through every Occupier group from one source. The Occupiers all over aren’t really taking instruction from this cadre of instigators, but they’re definitely taking their lead from it.  For example, the original instigators sent out a guide (NB: pdf file) to those who wanted to attend, two days before the event.  I imagine this is why one needs to call or email to get an appointment to speak with the movement’s mouthpiece.

Make no mistake: this was planned by pros who know exactly what they’re doing, and have had these beliefs for a very long time, nothing at all to do with the current economic crisis or the sub-prime mortgage fiasco or the President’s failed Stimulus. If you asked these people five years ago what they thought, they’d tell you the exact same thing they’re saying today.

Actually, there’s a parallel with the Tea Party movement right there. When that all started, and the accusations of racism hit immediately, I was debunking that by pointing out that we were all against nationalized healthcare years ago, back when it was called HillaryCare. Opposition to Socialized medicine had nothing to do with the color of the President’s skin then, and has nothing to do with it now. That’s something the BBC refused to acknowledge, and makes it all the more infuriating when Mardell claims the Tea Party is driven by crypto-racism. Likewise, the Occupiers’ opposition to bankers’ wealth and “income inequality” has nothing to do with the current situation. It’s just something they’ve always thought. Why can’t the BBC ever discuss this?

Sadly for the Occupiers, not all the comrades around the country are equally clued in.  Some idiots in Phoenix have apparently handed out fliers explaining when it’s okay to shoot a cop.  BBC:  ZZZzzzzzzz.

Not A Political Movement, Eh?

These people keep saying they’re not a political movement, and try to distance themselves from the usual shibboleths. But I keep hearing about “solidarity”, which has a very specific political connotation.  In addition, the concept of “income inequality” is Socialist.  The cute little “general assemblies” they have, where everybody in the group gets to vote daily on various issues, is classic student anarcho-syndicalism.  Their desire to end corporations and national conglomerates in favor of small, local (don’t mention for-profit) businesses is old-school anarchism.

It’s not politically neutral at all. They don’t want to openly side with one political party or the other, but you will never, ever, hear a single one of them say they’re considering voting for a Republican. If any of them voted in past elections, it’s either for a Democrat, Socialist, or Green/Nader.  And what do they think that fist logo represents? Fluffy kittens? These people are about as political as it gets, but they think they’ve successfully disguised it. The media is helpfully carrying their water on that score. I’ll grant, though, that there is always going to be a core of people who go the “a pox on both their houses, you can’t put a cigarette paper between them” route. And those are the people who are the most ideologically far out of all. Only one person I spoke with grasped the concept of a third party, or that the civic duty of voting could actually change the face of the House of Representatives.

For those who think that the Occupy Wall St. movement started out as a bunch of reasonable people concerned about bank bailouts and massive deficit spending, along with some Ron Paul supporters, read this:

The Occupy wall street movement has been heavily infiltrated by the right wing and Ron Paul supperters, people lets not forget who Ron Paul really is, this man takes donations from racist organizations and has their full support, be carefull of these Ron Paul characters nad thoer end the fed message, they are wolves in sheeps clothing.

End Game

What happens next for the Occupiers?  I have no idea, and neither do they.  The thing is, nobody had any clue what they were going to do if we don’t have the equivalent of the Egyptian Army removing Mubarak. And that’s troubling.  Now, some are suggesting that this will all peter out once the real cold weather hits in December. I’m not sure how that’s going to affect places like Los Angeles or other warmer climes. Others figure that once the uglier voices become the face of the movement with which the public is most familiar, most people will get bored, the support will fade, and the donations will dry up so much that the free protest ride ends.  My take is that this is an election year (and a bleeding half, really), and these people are a very useful political tool, so I suspect the money will keep coming somehow. Especially since they’ve got a bank account with the usual e-commerce setup.

They’re getting support from, among other places, ex-ACORN apparatchiks, who are up to their old tricks, like exploiting homeless people to do their dirty work.

But I’m more worried about what these people will do when they realize that they’re not going to get their way, that the Army won’t remove the Government like they did in Egypt, and 300 million people won’t simply bow down to the righteous cause. Quite a few of these people really have nothing better to do, pretty much do this for a living. I said in my video segment that I got the impression of being in the parking lot outside a Grateful Dead concert, and that still fits.  Back in the day, lots of people would follow them around for months and years, paying their way by selling drugs or t-shirts or vegetarian sandwiches, or simply putting their hand out and begging for that “miracle ticket”.  When I heard the announcement from a couple of hirsute fellows that they had bus tickets to DC, I was seriously having flashbacks (no, not that kind).

(My batteries ran out again here, but I ended up having a lengthy, intelligent debate with the Occupier wearing glasses. I tried to explain that the Tea Party movement had proved that it was indeed possible to affect change by attending local city council meetings, state legislature open hearings, telling politicians they needed to listen, and by voting.  I don’t know how much he took away with him, but at least he understood there was another way besides occupying government buildings and holding their breath until they turn blue.)

What I mean is that these people can keep doing this for a very long time. And eventually, they’re going to realize that it isn’t working.  Will they fess up and become a ready-made cadre of Obamessiah activists?  I don’t know. If not, the emotions will have driven many of them into a frenzied state over time. Fighting the man, speaking truth to power, getting arrested over and over again, and watching a seemingly endless stream of video clips of their comrades fighting with police, getting pepper-sprayed and bundled into police vans will not yield a happy result.  Like we heard from a couple people, they all seriously think that obstructing traffic and infringing on other people’s space and property is their right. Freedom of speech and right to peaceable assembly and all that. What they tragically fail to understand is that, unlike many blacks in the South before the Civil Rights movement, they can exercise their right to vote without fear, and all this glorious civil disobedience is unnecessary extremist nonsense.  The Tea Party movement has proven that they don’t need to do any of this. I found only a couple of people who even remotely grasped this point.  So I think the violent confrontation – always started by the nasty fascist police infringing on their rights, bien sur – will become a kind of ouroburossian (if that’s not a word, it is now) reality. They’ll continuously create situations which they’ll interpret as justifying their cause, projecting onto it false equivalences with everything from Wat Tyler to the German Peasant Rebellion to Gandhi to MLK and the Civil Rights movement. That’s when you’ll really start to see the stuff the BBC told you would never happen over here.

So What Have I Learned?

First and foremost, I learned that the BBC’s initial reporting on this movement was a load of BS. In case there are any lingering doubts about that, notice that their current coverage describes the comrades at St. Paul’s as being an anti-Capitalist protest.  That has nothing whatsoever to do with what the BBC originally told you were the well-meaning darlings who merely wanted to sit down and work out how to fix the system. We all called it right from the start, yet the sympathetic Beeboids tried to tell you different. They’re all concerned about the state of the economy, angry about bank bailouts, worried about unemployment, we were told.  Clearly that’s not the case at all. As it turns out, the BBC refused to do the tiniest bit of research, refused to ask around, refused to do the slightest investigation into the origins of the protest.  As I’ve already shown, this was planned and announced long in advance. There’s no excuse for the BBC to get this wrong.

The Occupiers here in NYC are fortunate.  They’re operating in a city which is expert in dealing with freakshows and demonstrations and instigators.  And just like police everywhere, at some point whatever sympathy they may have for the Occupiers’ cause will pale in comparison to the sense of duty to their fellows in blue once they see one freeloader after another assault and injure cops.  The New York Police Sergeants’ Benevolent Association is already pissed off, and promising to sue Occupiers who harm any of their members.  Remember, these are the same policemen who witnessed Tea Partiers thank them for their time and effort after our own protests. Which were negotiated with authorities in advance, permits paid, everyone leaving at the scheduled time. Funny how Katty Kay never enthused about how nice we were.  And I can tell you from personal experience that not a few NY cops were initially unhappy about dealing with a gathering of what they assumed were angry Right-wingnuts.  Cops in the big US cities are likely to be just as Left-leaning as in the UK. But in NYC, they know the difference between concerned citizens and irrational zealots.

What’s even worse is that this is only going to get uglier, more violent, as the frustration at their failure to achieve instant “change” builds, and as they see their comrades get involved in dangerous physical confrontations with police around the country.  When you have nothing to lose, and no idea what you’re doing, only horror can occur.  This will all end in tears, and the BBC will support them to the bitter end, blaming everyone else.

I hope some of this is helpful in people’s understanding of what’s going on here.  If nothing else, I learned – once again – that we can’t trust the BBC on US issues.  Let’s face it: the BBC is not going to tell you the truth about what’s going on.  There will be no scare-mongering about the “boiling anger” of these people, or speculating over hidden motivations – only sympathy and hand-wringing over income inequality and how these agni innocenti are feeling disconnected from a system which no longer works for them. As everyone here knows by now, there have been many violent outbursts from Occupiers all around the US.  And it can’t all be blamed on the police acting aggressively for no reason.  So where is the BBC coverage?  Sparing at best.

If the BBC was really an honest broker of US news, they’d have the platoon of Beeboids working exclusively for the website working every day on updating you about the incidents occurring practically every hour.  Yet it scarcely gets the time of day on the BBC website, never mind live footage of the latest round of ultra-violence from whatever city is kicking off next.  And let’s not pretend that the Beeboids don’t know how to find out what’s coming up next, as we now know the Occupiers have all kinds of notifications sent out over the social media networks so beloved at the BBC.

Quite frankly, it’s time to say the BBC is filled with liars and propagandists on this score.  Any defenders of the indefensible are welcome to explain why it’s okay for the BBC to censor all of this.  Any lurking BBC employees should be ashamed.

PS:  I left out my chats with the guy who wanted all the troops to come home (they mostly are already), the black Muslim who didn’t want his picture taken and didn’t even know what literature was at his table, the cheerful Truther, and the guy angry at Israel for attacking the USS Liberty (genuinely not anti-Semitic, really, more of a friend-of-the-military guy angry that an ally did that and got away with it), who was also a Truther, as that seems beside the point here.

Occupy Wall Street Up Close

At last, a slideshow of my photos from Zuccotti Park.  I went down there on Sunday, and spent a couple hours among the Occupiers. I spoke to a lot of people, asking questions, debating a bit, and trying to figure out where they were at with all of this. And oh, my, did I learn a lot.

This post is just photos with my comments, based on my conversations with them.  I walked all around the perimeter of the park (it’s not that big, really, just 33,000 sq ft), and spent a lot of time walking around inside the encampment, visiting the various tables and people sitting with their own signs.  The photos are in the order in which I came across them.  I censored nothing, and believe I’ve covered the full spectrum of activists and causes therein. Video and a full report will follow soon.


Hosted by EyeTube – My thanks to ASE.

NOT THE BBC’S CUP OF TEA

A search on the BBC website for ‘Occupy Wall Street‘ brings up pages of articles within the last month (the first appearing on 23rd September). There are now well over thirty articles just about the U.S. protests from that period.

Compare that to an equivalent search for the ‘Tea Party‘. The movement took off in a big way during the first three months of 2009 and by April some half a million people were taking part in Tea Party protests across the United States. How did the BBC cover it? Very differently.

Somewhat belatedly, the first article to appear was a full-length one by Kevin Connolly, entering the world on 15/4/09 (the one with the “tea-baggers” reference).

This was followed on 20/4/09 by a very brief, ironic aside (in the BBC’s Obama Diary) from Kevin Connolly (“the modern versions [of the Tea Party] do not quite have that regime-shaking intensity about them”).

On 27/4/09 there was a personal ‘voter’s view‘ from a Tea Party supporter as part of a series of voter reflections on Obama’s first hundred days.

There were a couple of ‘Newsnight’ blog-posts on 29th April, one from Peter Marshall (“the Tea Party people are almost exclusively white”), the other by Paul Mason.

There was then nothing for four months (May-August 2009), while the Tea Party continued going from strength to strength. The BBC looked away.

Finally, on 14 September 2009 Mark Mardell almost woke up, with a sneering aside in a blog-post about Congressman Joe ‘You lie!’ Wilson (“Listening to the “tax-payers’ tea party” in Washington on the radio over the weekend, it struck me that if I were reading a transcript blind of context, I would assume I was listening to a demonstration of a growing resistance to a brutal and undemocratic regime.”)

A day later there was the briefest mention of the Tea Party movement in another blog-post by Paul Mason.

On the same day, Mark Mardell posted a piece called “Is race a factor in Obama protests?” Having put that question out there, tied it to the Tea Party protests and added that “the allegation is that many of those who are calling their president “un-American” mean he is not white,” he then blithely added that he’s was merely “describing and inviting debate, not passing comment”. You lie, Mark!
Finally, on 26/9/09 there was a dismissive aside in an article by Max Deveson saying, like their ideological opposites, that the Tea Party has “a shopping-list of grievances that did not necessarily gel very well together”.

Nothing more appeared on the BBC News website about the Tea Party movement during the closing three months of 2009, even though the Tea Party continued to go from strength to strength, enough to make every BBC reporter sit up and take notice in 2010 – whether they wanted to or not.

So, in contrast to the dozens of generally full-length articles in under a month about OWS that are already littering the BBC News website, the growth of a major political movement, the Tea Party movement, that shook the American political system in 2010 and continues to shake it in 2011, passed with just five full-length pieces and four other fleeting mentions in the course of an entire year.
At best that’s extremely poor journalism, at worst it’s ideologically-driven selective reporting. It’s almost certainly both.

NOT ON THE BBC

The wisdom of Occupy Wall Street protesters, via the Howard Stern show:

For more radical insight from the Occupy movement check out David Thompson’s blog.

UPDATE. For your amusement, via JammieWearingFool, here’s some hilarious piss-taking courtesy of Opie Radio. I don’t know who the woman is but she’s great: