Continued Wall Street Occupation

Okay, okay, I was maybe a little harsh about those silly demands. After all, it’s not like everyone there really thinks a $20/hour living wage is realistic. I’m starting to lean more toward the idea that we need an injection of sheer extremism to stimulate the public debate anyway. And this has certainly got people talking about stuff, right?

Not that people on the right aren’t ready to dismiss the protests outright because of the statements of a few – it’s only fair, since the left-leaning media did the same (and worse) to the Tea Party. Right?

Sadly, there’s plenty of fuel for their outrage…

The American Nazi Party supports OWS and the Communist Party have endorsed the protests. But what’s an endorsement, right? Then there’s the anti-Semitism…

In Los Angeles:

At the original Occupy Wall Street, a person with an anti-semitic sign… gets shouted down. But that doesn’t fit the narrative we’re building, so ignore the last half of this video.

Then there’s the anti-American singing of an anti-America song in Portland. Spitting on a Coast Guard member in uniform somewhere in the vicinity of Occupy Boston. The general whininess and the fact that they’re not fighting overseas in wars they probably don’t support. The socialist sympathies (this is truly stunning, a group pushing for economic equality being sort of socialist and pro-welfare state!). The blatant message of class war.

Since the left accused the Tea Party of being “astroturf” rather than grass-roots, it’s only fair that Occupy Wall Street is actually a tool of the Democratic party, labor unions (except they joined up later), George Soros and/or all of the above plus communists and environmentalists (although this is actually a good thing as it will scare people into voting Republican, apparently). It’s also racist and way too white.

One criticism leveled at the movement by Prof. Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit is that they should really be protesting Obama or, as he calls him, President Goldman Sachs. It’s a valid point – but then again, it isn’t like the people there are enthusiastic about either party. Besides, one of their main grievances appears to be the Wall Street bailout and corporate influence in government. Why not go right to the root of the corruption (corporate money) rather than the result of it (an administration sympathetic and beholden to corporate money)?  It’s not like there isn’t a D.C. contingent, as well. I imagine camping out on the Mall would be much harder than taking over a random park in NYC, also. The security fears would be crazy.

This clever bit of headline from the beginning of the protests at Fox Nation, “Democrat-Backed ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protests Turn Violent” is especially skillful. You’d think it was about violence by protestors, no? Actually, it’s just plain old police brutality caught on camera.

What you draw from this movement depends on where you sit. If you’re right-leaning, you probably dismiss them as “spoiled socialist brats.” It you’re more moderate, you may have some sympathy for them but be a little turned off by the lack of a clear message. If you’re liberal, you might attach your favorite cause, whatever it may be, to the movement and decide that’s what they stand for and therefore you support them.

The people who are actually at the movement appear to be trying to come up with an actual list of demands. From the New York Times:

The General Assembly has already adopted a “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City,” which includes a list of grievances against corporations and a call for others to join the group in peaceful assembly. To many protesters, that general statement is enough, and the open democracy of Zuccotti Park is the point of the movement.

Elsewhere, Occupy Boston, Occupy D.C. and Occupy Philadelphia were among the many groups in the movement slowly formulating demands, though in each city, opposition has arisen from skeptical demonstrators.

In Boston, Meghann Sheridan wrote on the group’s Facebook page, “The process is the message.” In Baltimore, Cullen Nawalkowsky, a protester, said by phone that the point was a “public sphere not moderated by commodities or mainstream political discourse.” An Occupy Cleveland participant, Harrison Kalodimos, is even writing a statement about why demands are not the answer.

Or maybe not.

Demands or no demands, it doesn’t look like these protests are going to go away. So we’ll have plenty of time to see how they play out and whether or not Democrats will be able to successfully hijack the movement – unless they planned it all along!

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