John has been posting regularly on #OccupyWallStreet, particularly highlighting the disgusting and brutal NYPD attacks on non-violent protestors. I also highly recommend Sarah Jaffe’s rich and detailed post at Alternet, which does a great job contextualizing why people have been occupying Wall Street for more than 11 days at this point.
But I want to highlight a piece by Glen Greenwald today which goes directly to the criticism many ostensibly progressive people and organizations have levied against the #OccupyWallStreet movement.
It’s not shocking that bankers and the mainstream media are dismissive of this expression of popular outrage against the power wealthy elites have over our economy and our political system. This is an expression of anger at the lack of accountability to the needs of the 99% of our citizenry who don’t get to buy time with the President at $35,000 a pop. Greenwald writes:
But for those who believe that protests are only worthwhile if they translate into quantifiable impact: the lack of organizational sophistication or messaging efficacy on the part of the Wall Street protest is a reason to support it and get involved in it, not turn one’s nose up at it and join in the media demonization. That’s what one actually sympathetic to its messaging (rather than pretending to be in order more effectively to discredit it) would do. Anyone who looks at mostly young citizens marching in the street protesting the corruption of Wall Street and the harm it spawns, and decides that what is warranted is mockery and scorn rather than support, is either not seeing things clearly or is motivated by objectives other than the ones being presented.
And if that isn’t enough, I offer as a reminder the words of one of the women who was assaulted by NYPD officer Anthony Bologna this past weekend:
“I have respect for police officers, but that man assaulted me,” Ms. Elliott said. “Bizarrely. Stupidly. Needlessly.”
In a functional system of justice, this officer would be arrested and charged with assault. I’ll be watching to see if that happens and I suggest you do too.