Volume 81, Number 21 | October 27 - November 2, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Photo by Clayton Patterson
Students from King’s College, a Christian school based in the Empire State Building, visited Zuccotti Park recently. Toting a cardboard Ronald Reagan, they called the occupation useless and said the protesters could make it in America. “They were smoking cigars and talking s---,” said documentarian Clayton Patterson.
O.W.S. has many messages: Ignore them at your own risk
By Clayton Patterson
It is important that Occupy Wall Street does not have one overall message. As one person put it: The medium is the message. The protest is the message.
The greed, the outsourcing of jobs, the lack of jobs, the corporate takeover of mom-and-pop businesses, the death of the American Dream for the average person, the unpunished criminal mortgage scandal, the cost of education, the cost of medicine, the cost of living, the connection between wealth and buying justice, and on and on, is the meat of the message.
Each person’s message about how the economy, the lack of political leadership, the corruption in politics with the lobbyists, the corrupt banking practices, and on and on — that is what the protest is about. The protest is also about: Why vote? People ask: What difference does it make to vote? The number of people who are convinced that there is no difference between Bush and Obama is growing.
The country is in deep trouble when at least one-third of the people believe that 9/11 was an inside job. And the people who believe that 9/11 was an inside job cross all levels of society. If a person cannot feel the protesters’ message, then they are a part of the 1 percent, or have some sort of security blanket that most other people do not have.
If there was only one message, it would give the politicians and talking heads a break — they would have something to argue about. This O.W.S. protest is much larger than one message.
The messages ring loud and clear around the world. The lack of balanced mainstream media coverage and the electronic media concentrating on the election make it seem to people in other countries that America is censoring the news. The Internet examples of the police brutality ring loud and clear in places like Egypt, Syria and Europe. The powers that be are making a colossal mistake not taking O.W.S. seriously. It is not going away. It will only grow.
Yes, the 1 percent, the politicians, the mega-media, the ignorant, may not be able to hear the message, or they are making fun of the protest — because they cannot see what is going on. This is the reversal of the Emperor Has No Clothes. In this case, it’s the common people who are naked and people like King Bloomberg cannot see their nakedness. The 1 percent are too wrapped up in dealing with accumulating more wealth. The truth is brutally naked — upfront in everyone’s face. The outsiders can hear the protesters’ message; the insiders cannot.
The message will continue to get louder. It will not go away. The message will become an important part of the next presidential election. Pontificating about whether Rick Perry got his marching orders from G-d or not, or getting into useless arguments that mean nothing — such as whether it was Obama or Bush who lost more jobs — will become irrelevant.
I find it curious how our economic savior Bloomberg (NOT!) is bellyaching about police overtime costing the city more than $3.5 million, yet he cannot remember being robbed by Haggerty for more than $1 million. Or the fact that he spent more than $100 million to win re-election. Is it any wonder why he can’t comprehend what the protest is about?