Monday, September 26, 2011

"Occupy Wall Street" Frozen Out of US Media

See the Guardian's coverage here, which has included articles by Amy Goodman and others in support of the protesters. See also the Guardian's criticism of U.S. media, particularly the NY Times, for hardly noting the protests at all. See pictures here. There are, to be sure, plenty of things to quibble about re: the tactics of the protesters, but the general thrust of the phenomenon is right on: tax the rich, end the wars, no cuts to social programs.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You post a lot of links to SW.org on this blog but they've got nothing on the protests. Just sayin.

-sf said...

Hey be fair, NYT did cover the protests over the weekend: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/nyregion/protesters-are-gunning-for-wall-street-with-faulty-aim.html

Probably not the type of coverage you were talking about, but hey any press is good press right? ;)

-sf said...

Washington Post has much better coverage:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/why-occupy-wall-street/2011/09/26/gIQAWq5czK_blog.html

but it probably doesn't need to be pointed out that this coverage comes late. I read that shit daily and this is the first time I see MSM cover the protest. Indeed I first heard about it through word of mouth, and its really really rare that when someone comes up to me and says "hey did you hear about X?" that I actually hadn't heard anything about X, even if its a headline that I saw but ignored.

This all begs the question of if all the economic problems outlined in the WaPo article facing our generation can actually help mobilize the mass social movement anxiously awaited on this blog and others? It's been more than a decade since I read Zinn's even then outdated last chapter of People's History of the US, "The Coming Revolt of the Guards," (my edition barely got into Clinton's presidency) but if my half-baked memory serves me correctly, he predicts that it is only when the American middle class feels left out of the massive wealth generated by this country, mass movements will rise to challenge the system. The question is whether this discontent can be channeled to progressive causes, or if too many angry Americans will find their solutions in the "traditional" American anti government paradigm i.e. the Tea Party.

t said...

NYT and others have noted it, but they were late on the scene. It's embarrassing that a British newspaper had frontpage coverage a full 2-3 days before NYT even bothered to comment. It's not as though Wall Street is in New York or anything...

As for the prospects for a resurgence of left-wing social movements, there are several things to say. First, such a resurgence is already, in many ways, already upon us in inchoate form. Strike actions have drastically increased in the last year, and more clashes in the future should be expected. Of course, anyone on the Left cant satisfied with things as they are -we want to see more fight back, and ultimately an increase in organization that can facilitate ratcheting up the pressure. Left-leaning people disillusioned with the Democrats are literally flooding into leftist political organizations right now looking to get involved in extra-electoral struggles against foreclosures, layoffs, austerity, etc. Socialist groups are growing at a rate that is astounding. There is a huge opportunity for the Left (the real Left mind you, not the tired cynics who tell us that the best we can hope for is whatever Obama gives us) to grow right now. But growth will not be automatic- it will depend on how organized and prepared our side is.

As for the Tea Baggers, my sense is that they are on the way out. They were never as relevant as the MSM made them out to be. And they were far more of a GOP front group than an outlet of genuine grassroots rage. And whatever populist (if also racist and thoroughly backward) credentials they may have had at one time have long since evaporated by way of GOP co-optation. In fact, I can't think of a time in the last 3 yrs when the Tea Baggers were less relevant. Of course, the point is well taken: right wing populism is always a danger in times of crisis if there is no Left alternative.