As “Occupy Wall Street” spreads around the world – now in more than 185 locales, and counting – everyone from politicians to media pundits is scrambling to identify the protest movement’s leadership.
On NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show” former CBS anchor Dan Rather – now with HDnet – tagged Priscilla Grim – a woman who launched a Tumblr page online – as “the real moving force behind this,” only to have the website mediate.com tartly observe that “Dan Rather probably has no idea what Tumblr is.”
Indeed. This movement may be light years ahead of the media. It's certainly out ahead of the curve. And therein lies its strength, I think.
The Teabagger movement was pretty easily explainable, and this is why it was obvious that it was not a grassroots movement. It had two messages: lower taxes, smaller government.
But the rank and file conservatives have many more issues than those: gay marriage, abortion, undocumented workers, Islamophobia and religion in general, education...a whole raft of unresolved anger. And yet, those were rarely if ever addressed at any of the "rallies."
With OWS, well, this is what democracy looks like. It's messy. It's filled with points and counterpoints, sometimes in conflict with each other (altho that happens only rarely.)
Yes. There's a basic message that economic insecurity is occuring and only the richest will survive because only the richest are being taken care of by the American government and that's just wrong.
But look at any media coverage of the demonstrations. There are anti-war signs, pro-labor signs....hell, I'm betting there's a whole flotilla of "Sasquatch Isreal" signs!
How does this turn into a strength? Well, just take the DC protests this weekend. OK, it was not the OWS protest, it was the "October 2011" protest, which is independent of OWS but supportive. A right-wing provocateur, a blogger at American Spectator, boasted about how he led a melee inside the Smithsonian Institute that led to en masse pepper-spraying...mostly of him and his co-conspirators, but I digress.
Even American Spectator realized how stoopid this idiot was and washed his story, but you can read the original here, if you must.
They're scared. They're bloody scared. I mean, wasn't it just the same people who were terrified that left-wingers were infiltrating Teabagger protests? I don't recall anyone getting pepper-sprayed, so I guess either we did it the right way, or we weren't vicious enough.