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As unions and advocacy organizations offer more and more support to Occupy Wall Street (in that vein, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union has endorsed), reporters are focusing on the relationship between the more established groups and the new group of protesters.

The protests have grown as unions have added bodies and offered material support. Union leaders have also offered positive quote after positive quote. For instance:

"The way our society is now headed, it does not work for 99% of people, so when Occupy Wall Street started ... they kept to it and they've been able to create a national conversation that we think should have been going on for years," [United Federation of Teachers President Michael] Mulgrew said.

But some reporters are seeing frustration in such quotes. Rachel Weiner at the Washington Post's The Fix writes:

But at the American Dream Conference in Washington, D.C. this week, there was a noticeable hint of annoyance that these protests have gotten so much media attention while union marches have been largely ignored.

“We had 10,000 people march on Wall Street last year,” AFL-CIO executive director Arlene Holt-Baker told reporters. “We see this as a continuation in many ways, where these young people are stepping up.”

Now, whether that's frustration is all in the tone, because the point is inarguable: Unions have been fighting to draw attention to Wall Street abuses for years, just as Occupy Wall Street is doing. That this could be the source of some frustration isn't too surprising; Weiner just doesn't really make the case for it. The New York Times' Steven Greenhouse and Cara Buckley do some actual reporting on this question:

Several union leaders complained that their own protests over the past two years had received little attention, though they had put far more people on the streets than Occupy Wall Street has. A labor rally in Washington last October drew more than 100,000 people, with little news media coverage.

Behind the scenes in recent days, union leaders have debated how to respond to Occupy Wall Street. In internal discussions, some voiced worries that if labor were perceived as trying to co-opt the movement, it might alienate the protesters and touch off a backlash.

Others said they were wary of being embarrassed by the far-left activists in the group who have repeatedly denounced the United States government.

Those paragraphs highlight a number of the complexities here. Unions have reason to be frustrated that their efforts—whether large rallies, lobby days that brought union members to Capitol Hill, or other advocacy—have been largely ignored. At the same time, if too much Occupy Wall Street coverage goes to unions, the original protesters have legitimate reason for frustration. (Though to the extent that the protesters don't mostly offer spokespeople, it's probably not a bad thing that reporters, who all too often quote the least articulate or most inflammatory person at any protest, have in unions an obvious place to go for quotes that carefully make clear the person quoted is not an Occupy Wall Street "leader" but also make the case for anger at Wall Street.)

It's a delicate balance, and one complicated by the fact that when it comes to activism on the left, the media so often either ignores or portrays it in the worst possible light. Unions have resources and research and members, all of which can help to build up Occupy Wall Street. They also have a public presence that's pretty well cemented into place, often in ways that make it difficult to avoid seeming stale, and an existing format for protest that, let's face it, can feel stale no matter how passionately you believe in the cause. Occupy Wall Street is new and fresh and drawing attention for that—but sometimes in ways that are nearly guaranteed to draw skepticism and bad coverage from the media. The question is, is there a balance to be reached between unions and the protesters that will build up and spread the protests and awareness of the issues? If there is, will it change anything about how the media covers progressive activism? (I'm more optimistic about the former than the latter.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 12:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  welcome to a First Amendment democracy (9+ / 0-)
    Others said they were wary of being embarrassed by the far-left activists in the group who have repeatedly denounced the United States government.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 12:45:58 PM PDT

    •  far left embarrassment (9+ / 0-)

      and here i was worried about being embarrased by far-right citizens who boo soldiers and cheer for death. silly me.

      The Texas Miracle is that, after years of Perry, we don't look like a Tent Revival Thunderdome preaching to the uninsured. Oh, wait...

      by papa monzano on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:13:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And here I thought the far left was "embarassing" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, annieli

      because it embraced government as the panacea to all problems. Do these "others" perhaps have the far-left confused with the far-right?

      "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

      by middleagedhousewife on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:23:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anarchists (3+ / 0-)

        It anarchists that can be a real issue.  The little black block bastards have a way of hijacking events they have little to nothing to do with.

        For example when Protest ALEC held a march to the location of the ALEC convention in New Orleans this August, the anarchists created a very dangerous situation and drove away a lot of our local labor supporters.

        So long as you march on public sidewalks, and aren't blocking them you're legal in most states.  It's when you start to block sidewalks and streets that the police have cause for action.

        At the Protest ALEC march in August, we in the organizing group made clear that marchers need to stay on the side walks and stay in motion. The local black block children decided to go out and block streets while we were marching. Doing their best to antagonize the police the whole way to the hotel.

        This was the same day as the Danziger bridge trial, in which several officers were found guilty of the murder of poor black folks who had the misfortune to be on the wrong bridge after Katrina.  There had been a group of local activists out at the federal building earlier that day, folks from the affected community.  I could understand, but still wouldn't approve, if it had been this group stirring trouble. But, it wasn't it was a bunch of upper middle class white kids, whose idea of a social movement is smashing shit. Their self-centered little shits, and the biggest irony is that they failed to understand that they are the mirror image of the ALEC folks. People whose politics involve believing the world revolves around them.

        But..... once we got to the actual hotel is when the black block kids started real trouble.  I have the head of the New Orleans Central Labor Council to my right on the sidewalk when I see this pale of smoke drifting in our direction.  At first, I think,  shit, tear gas.  But then the guy next to me and all the labor folks peal off.  What he saw, and I hadn't was that one of the black block kids had started tossing smoke bombs all over the sidewalk, and had nearly lobbed one into the stroller of a woman walking her baby down the street.

        This is only the beginning.  The black block kids did nothing to organize the protest and march, but they tried to coopt the work of others. We had a large group of people who were expecting a peaceful march, brought out their kids, and because of the black block kids it nearly went very ugly.  Our (Protest ALEC) crowd marshals separated our people from the black block kids and continue the march.  We got around to the front of the hotel, and the black block kids (did I mention that they are all working black hoodies even though it's literally 102 degrees and and 100% humidity?) have broken out cans of spray paint and are tagging the front doors of the hotel with  red anarchy signs.

        So all the attendees from the ALEC conference are taping this with their phones, doubtless to be dragged out to stereotype our organization as black block anarchists.  The kids who have tagged the hotel have sprinted off at this point. With police in full pursuit through the peaceful marchers, nearly knocking people over.   So the cops tackle the black block kid who's been tagging the building. He managed to wiggle lose and pulls off his hoodie, trying to mix in with the crowd.

        So after about 30 minutes, the Protest ALEC group decides to break off the march.  We had brought a large number of megaphones and other equipment to the protest.  The black block kids brought nothing, but had got their hands on ours. We ask then kindly to return our equipment, at which point the black block kids tell our person trying to collect equipment before the thunderstorm starts that we are fascists and authoritarians because we want our shit back.

        Forgive me, but yes.   There is an embarrassing "left."  I tend to see the black block experimentation of wealthy white kids as part of their transformation in later life to the sorts of libertarians that support ALEC.  But, for the moment, the black block kids are tagged by the media as "left-wing."  And, they are deeply embarrassing.

        I can see why  various labor groups are concerned that there are anarchist factions in in the Occupy Wall Street protests, who could potentially cause the sort of trouble I saw with my own eyes in New Orleans.  

        http://www.economicpopulist.org

        by ManfromMiddletown on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:32:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  i'm far left. I'm an embarrassment. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilK, beltane, jeopardydd, annieli

      I should get a t-shirt.

      I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

      by mdmslle on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:34:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thing Is Occupy Is Not Yet Targeting Electoral (10+ / 0-)

    politics, so apart from the publicity angle, Occupy are pretty much political neutrinos and likely to remain so.

    I think there are ways for the unions and other political interests to lend some presence and support to these intellectual kinds of protests and leverage them for publicity for their political efforts. At some point the protesters will coalesce around either finding ways to join forces or running off political-minded groups.

    Unions are never going to get media coverage if they put 10 million in the streets. Media are corporations, they have to put up with unions in their business, they're opponents of unions and the Bill of Rights lets media promote their own agenda and fight all others without duty or obligation.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 12:53:31 PM PDT

  •  If the unions put hundreds or (8+ / 0-)

    thousands of members in a park for weeks on end--and with no end in sight, living there, attracting new supporters, marching--I wonder if they still would've been ignored.

    And is cooptation such a bad thing? The only bad result is the original protesters will have legitimate reason for frustration. But I'm not sure that's really true.

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:03:30 PM PDT

    •  I think that is the frustration... (16+ / 0-)

      It is not with Occupy Wall Street or the coverage Occupy Wall Street gets.  It is that large one day union rallies and marches are ignored, and relatively tiny Tea Party protests get wall to wall coverage.   It took weeks of people in the park with a growing presence before the media paid attention.  So, a Tea Part rally for a few hours with 100 people gets tons of coverage,  progressive and liberals have to get a few thousand people together 24 hours a day for weeks before the media pays attention.

      •  Well, they only feel that way because (6+ / 0-)

        it's completely frustrating!

        Strategically, though, it's pretty clear that OWS fairly brilliantly didn't 'march against Wall Street.' Occupying is a whole different animal.

        (I've gotta get my kid down to the local occupation. But his grandmother is in town, and as much as I admire the OWS people's tenacity and bravery, I'm not tenacious or brave enough to stand between the kid and grandma.)

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:17:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We can get alot of Republican people on board too. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard

        Most of them I talk to agree with every bit of this because they are never informed .

        This "Trickle Down" thing has turned out to be somebody pissing on my leg and tellin' me it's rainin'.

        by swtexas on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:18:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the occupiers don't strike me as invested (11+ / 0-)

      in ego or credit. they want attention to be paid to injustice instead. it's all about the cause.

      The protesters are conservatives in this sense, they call for the rule of law. The real radicals are the rapacious oligarchic class. ~ chris hedges

      by stolen water on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:14:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water, mdmslle

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:19:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  While we support the OWS protestors, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water

        let's remember that any activity that is perceived as anti-American, i.e., Captialiism, would do damage to the movement.  As noted  in this diary, the MSM is loathe to cover the issues the OWS protestors are addressing.  I cringe at the prospect of the MSM painting a broad brush that is unfavorable to a movement that represents so many Americans.  I hope the union representation in the OWS movement will enhance the message....99% vs, 1%.

        Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

        by ChiTownDenny on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:42:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  media hasn't covered chronic unemployment? (0+ / 0-)

          The protesters are conservatives in this sense, they call for the rule of law. The real radicals are the rapacious oligarchic class. ~ chris hedges

          by stolen water on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:02:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  in times of prosperity, (0+ / 0-)
          any activity that is perceived as anti-American, i.e., Captialiism

          this indeed would be the frame. but we aren't living in those times.

          The protesters are conservatives in this sense, they call for the rule of law. The real radicals are the rapacious oligarchic class. ~ chris hedges

          by stolen water on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:04:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  you mean protesting wallstreet could be (0+ / 0-)

          painted as unamerican.

          let's remember that any activity that is perceived as anti-American, i.e., Captialiism,

          but i like the accidental truth you've committed.

          The protesters are conservatives in this sense, they call for the rule of law. The real radicals are the rapacious oligarchic class. ~ chris hedges

          by stolen water on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:09:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, PsychoSavannah, bdop4

      what if all union strikes were one weekend protests?
      we'd still be locked in a burning shirtwaist factory, i'd wager.

      The Texas Miracle is that, after years of Perry, we don't look like a Tent Revival Thunderdome preaching to the uninsured. Oh, wait...

      by papa monzano on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:15:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes (5+ / 0-)

      The unions marched and went home... in many cases to nice union jobs.  I think the not going home and the expressions of hopelessness if the current order continues to exist resonates more widely on an emotional level with a lot of people.  That works even better without policy specifics being front and center at the moment, because it allows the public to plug in their own fears/hopes/whatever.

      So, I think unions leaders really miss the point when they express even a tiny bit of envy or dismay at the attention/support differential.  They forget that people with 200k in loans or medical bills and no job, or whatever the bad situation is, are going to have a hard time connecting with the plight of workers who usually have decent pay, insurance, and pensions, even if they absolutely should on a political level.  

      So why would it be surprising or even worth mentioning that a small group of people claiming total ruin (look what they put on we are the 99%) sit down and refuse to get up get a lot more attention than ten times that number who spend a day off from their jobs marching for a narrower cause that enhances their not (in most cases) totally ruined situations.  

      I have been in a union every chance I have gotten, my wife is in a union, and I support unions.  But they sure can get tone deaf sometimes.

    •  That's the thing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, GussieFN

      the unions are absolutely to be credited for their hard work. But Occupy Wall Street, from everything I gather, is not a conventional protest march, in the way that the union protests would be.

      Every description I hear of it presents OWS as an open-air forum, a deliberating body, a site where its location and form -- an occupation with an open-ended process -- is as important to the point being made as its deliberate demands.

      That's at least somewhat new, and can't be immediately compared to a conventional protest.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:36:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bdop4

      The Unions are used to the idea that they turn up on the day and get the coverage and its a done deal.

      They are, for all the good they do and have done, part of the model that exists through "leadership" and "deals".

      The problem with that model is that leaders too easily get "co-opted" by the enemy and the deals that get done are out of the public eye where "inducements" can be offered.

      The frustration that OWS causes is that it is not accessible to those processes. All negotiation has to be done in the full view of the public, and available to them in real time via social media.

      That means everyone gets to see what you put on the table and to have a say about whether, and how, it should be accepted.

      They also don't get that the specific points of complaint are only the symptoms of the problem which is endemic greed and a corrupted process. So any attempt to fix or mitigate the symptoms is purely window dressing.

      These guys, and many more of us, want the underlying disease that creates the symptoms dealt with.

      And THAT means a shift in the centres and processes of power which is a zero sum game. If I get more power, you have yours limited or constrained. People used to having no constraints on their power see that as an attack and the shift as actual loss, not of present or even near future resources, but of freedom to act.

      Which is why the pundits are mocking the inchoate demands and the unions can't quite get a grip on the thing. Fact is nobody should be allowed to "get a grip", the people en masse, acting democratically and for the greater good will always be like water. As soon as anyone can "get a grip" they will be on the path to being "guided", then steered, then corralled, then slaughtered.

      OWS is, at the moment anyway, in the right space, going nowhere because 99% is already in all the places it needs to be.

      Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

      by Deep Dark on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:59:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can't Overestimate the Power of Occupation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diebold Hacker

      What gives power to the movement is the continuous juxtaposition of the movement adjacent to an institution of authority, whether it be Wall Street, City Hall or the local financial district.

      Every day, groups go out into the establishment's backyard and makes their case. Every night there the group engages, reassesses and adapts at the general assemblies.

      You can't do that in an afternoon march.

      I honestly think OWS and unions can flourish in a symbiotic relationship, with OWS maintainining a constant pressure with unions ramping it up on the weekends and during certain targeted events.

      I really believe that operating alone, their chances for success are greatly dimininished, while working together could actually result in some remarkable achievements. If they can keep it going through next year, the deathgrip that the 1% has on the levers of power in this country can be broken.

      I'm going to be part of it.

      •  Good analysis. (0+ / 0-)

        Especially this:

        I honestly think OWS and unions can flourish in a symbiotic relationship, with OWS maintainining a constant pressure with unions ramping it up on the weekends and during certain targeted events.

        (proposal: anyone who says the word "bank" these days without coupling it with a vulgarity should have to pay a fine)

        by Diebold Hacker on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:23:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That pic alone (5+ / 0-)

    makes this worth reccing

  •  You're asking the right question. (5+ / 0-)

    Can all of these, the OWS people who are leaderless and trying to thrash out a strategy and spontaneous, and the larger, moneyed unions and groups which have leaders and are organized along lines they thought were effective find a way to come together to work with each other?  Or should we now get ready for the circular firing squad and enormous, fruitless, stupid turf battles.  Hard to say.

    Note just for context: anarachists think that the organization and movement has to arise from the bottom, marxists think it arises at the top.  That's the clash here; it was the same clash a century ago.  A second important question: have we learned anything about factional fights?

  •  Treat it with kid gloves (6+ / 0-)

    And you will screw it all up.

    The reason it's getting attention is because the people that started it aren't hitched entirely to politicians, and thus are free to tell the (roughly) unadulterated truth. Telling the truth as we can see has a more profound affect than tempering language to try and please everyone. Maybe the President will learn a lesson or two.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:08:32 PM PDT

  •  Unions March -- Where's the story? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, GussieFN, PhilK, mdmslle, Deep Dark

    Sure, it's cause for frustration that union marches have gone unreported or under-reported, but it's not surprising.  It's part of the existing narrative -- Unions march and protest. It's what they do!

    It's the same when Republicans lie.  At first, maybe they'd get called on it, but now it's no pervasive, it's not a story.

    The great thing about Occupy Wall Street is that it has wrinkled the narrative -- who are these people? what are they protesting?  What are their demands?

    Sure, it's led to some silly shit, but it's also facilitated an essential conversation to move forward.

    We can be frustrated with traditional media reporting,but we should also take this as a lesson -- turn the received narrative on its head, and you get attention.

    On that note, I'd like to begin organizing some "Occupy Main Street" demonstrations with wealthy banksters holding signs like "Don't Tax My Dividends" and "We Are the 1%" and "Profits Before People" and "Tax Food Not Profits"

  •  Last thing this movement needs now (17+ / 0-)

    is a purity pissing match. I love the fact that the media is frustrated and being exposed for the corporate stooges they truly are. If they want to stir shit up and illuminate rifts and inconsistencies they only way to remedy that is to close ranks.

    Solidarity is a good thing. People sings songs about it.

  •  Now it is only a waiting game. (2+ / 0-)

    Countdown to this protest movement being co-opted by the professional left and establishment politicians.

    It is only a matter of time. Michael Moore showing up was the first warning. The constant stream of soundbites from late to the game union leaders trying to take credit for it is the second.

    The professional republicans have taken over the tea party, now the professional democrats will take over the anti-Wall Street crusade, and we will be right back at the status quo just in time for the election.

    •  "The professional left," so to speak, (0+ / 0-)

      isn't the same as the "professional Democrats."

      •  Okay... (1+ / 0-)

        While you may be technically right (ha!) with the current two party system it boils down to semantics as far as electoral politics are concerned.

      •  Exactly who will make a big difference.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jeopardydd

        It will be co-opted at least in the sense that leaders will emerge and some either may be or will be politicians or leaders of existing organizations.  If those organizations are working for the things OWS wants and are picking up on OWS energy to accomplish those things, that would be a good thing.  If instead you end up with no action and just rhetoric, then it is a bad thing.

        This is one of the great social experiments of our time, it will be fascinating to see where it ends up.

      •  i like to consider the professional left (0+ / 0-)

        the DNC, DCCC, DSCC, MoveOn, CodePink, the Unions etc etc.. People who have a bank account and raise money using hair-on-fire emails about the latest republican outrage.

        Professional implies "earns a living at it". And yes, that includes that asshole Rahm Emmanuel. Those people and organizations who have been around for a damned long time even though nothing ever quite seems to get fucking DONE that could remotely be called LEFTIST.

        I differentiate the "professional left" from the True Left. That would be those of us targeted for the dupe. Those who actually ARE leftists and who receive the hair-on-fire emails to the tune of LITERALLY 5-10 a day.

        No, note to Rahm, we are not the "professional left". YOU ARE.

        I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

        by mdmslle on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:45:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is that this movement is (5+ / 0-)

    at a place and time when it could very well be coopted.  Certainly, Bernanke types are going to want to use it to do the bare minimum necessary to get the hoi polloi back under control.

    Number 1 thing I do not want to hear: "Are you satisfied" (uttered by Chuck Todd).

    by AZphilosopher on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:09:07 PM PDT

  •  there is the stated dilemma, but i'm not worried (7+ / 0-)

    about it. what i'm intrigued about is the unspoken suggestion that is being laid out here:

    any future strikes, or even the threat of a strike, will gain more traction if unions can count on occupiers to lend them their support. that's called leverage.

    The protesters are conservatives in this sense, they call for the rule of law. The real radicals are the rapacious oligarchic class. ~ chris hedges

    by stolen water on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:09:22 PM PDT

  •  If this turns out to be a big (4+ / 0-)

    union thing, it will lose credibility.  As long as it is a headless movement, with no one in particular running the show, it has a chance.  This way no one gets targeted and taken down and no one gets paid off.

    This "Trickle Down" thing has turned out to be somebody pissing on my leg and tellin' me it's rainin'.

    by swtexas on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:09:44 PM PDT

  •  Why do I hear sour grapes here? (8+ / 0-)

    Some union leaders are upset because their tactics have not been as successful as OWS? Well, then, I say, "time to change the tactics".

    Look, I am a member of the AFM. Last year during the Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike by AFM members, they did some extremely creative things to bring attention to their demands, including scores of free concerts, some of which I happened to attend while visitng Detroit during the strike.

    Maybe union leadership needs to get more creative. But, I'm happy some are supporting OWS.

    Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:09:47 PM PDT

  •  It'll get harder when the Democrats throw (4+ / 0-)

    their hat in the ring... trying to co-opt it for electoral and derailment reasons.

    NOW SHOWING
    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:10:46 PM PDT

  •  Our corporate press has a long history (4+ / 0-)

    of ignoring labor issues.  How often on the evening news do you have any coverage of labor or its concerns?  

    On the other hand, if the networks, especially Fox, can photograph a demonstration of hipsters with purple hair and  nose pieces, well, that's a guaranteed spot on the nightly news.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:11:08 PM PDT

    •  I am a bit ashamed to admit that I didn't even (0+ / 0-)

      realize how completely labor issues had disappeared from the news until Laura Clawson started covering them on dKos.  Then I had this memory bubble up of news in the 70s, where labor issues and strikes were a regular feature.

      Corporate media have blacked out labor issues as much as they had blacked out OWS or the Wisconsin protests.  Let there be no reminders widely broadcasted that people have a right to be upset that their wages either don't exist or can't possibly cover what it costs to live in this country.  For goodness sake, let there be no reminders that there is something people can do to remedy that problem!

      "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

      by middleagedhousewife on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:32:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unions were the power behind the Wisconsin (9+ / 0-)

    demonstrations. That got attention and I kinda see OccupyWallStreet as an extention of those demonstrations--fighting back against corruption.  

    It's time for everyone to join together to send our message to Wall Street and their minions in DC that the 99% are tired of being bled by the 1%. We're tired of one dollar/one vote.  We're tired of corporations as people.  We're tired of the looting of America converting our country into a banana republic.

    I went out and demonstrated ithis past winter in solidarity with the unions even though I'd only belonged to one briefly myself.  I wanted to support the unions then and I want to support this movement now.  To me, it's all the same thing.

  •  we are many, they are few! (3+ / 0-)

    The protesters are conservatives in this sense, they call for the rule of law. The real radicals are the rapacious oligarchic class. ~ chris hedges

    by stolen water on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:11:47 PM PDT

  •  you got your march in my protest! (6+ / 0-)

    oh, come on MSM.

    if the union marches and protests had been recognized, OWS would be unecessary.

    if the government paid one iota of attention to anyone not holding a bag of money and twirling a moustache, OWS would be unecessary.

    Now, since OWS has proven to be the only thing that has been able to start this conversation in my lifetime, it must be taking something away from those unions (which the media didn't care about before, and only do now because it benefits a pro-corporate narrative).

    It is sickening that the same mainstream media that ignored those marches and the same government that ignored those protests is now trying to foster dissent in the new movement so they can disregard it as well.

    Several union leaders complained that their own protests over the past two years had received little attention, though they had put far more people on the streets than Occupy Wall Street has.

    so, basically, the logic at work is this: you have the same goals as my group, but are more successful, so you should stop your group because it's not mine.

    no. no one protesting wants the glory, they want the goals. this is like saying "well, the last union strike didn't accomplish everything we wanted, so we're not ever striking again".

    it's not going to stop until we occupy a press room and shut these idiots up.

    The Texas Miracle is that, after years of Perry, we don't look like a Tent Revival Thunderdome preaching to the uninsured. Oh, wait...

    by papa monzano on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:11:57 PM PDT

    •  That is one interpretation... (5+ / 0-)

      And, the one the reporter wanted you to make.  The other interpretation of the same words is...

      "Oh, now you want to talk to me because OWS is finally getting attention on these issues you corporatist media bastard.  We put 100,000 people on the streets and you couldn't be bothered to list a finger then, you fascist pig."

      The union leaders were not complaining about OWS they were complaining about the corporatist media.

      •  the one they WANT us to make, for sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        middleagedhousewife

        compaining about the media to the media never seems to translate out correctly. funny, that.

        I'm with you that the unions almost assuredly do not hold that belief (that OWS should stop because it isn't a UNION movement) but the press can latch onto and foster that dissent.

        Your interpretation is certainly the one the unions intended, i'd bet. every group who ever marched on these issues should be part of this now.

        it's the closest we've ever come to inconveniencing our overlords.

        The Texas Miracle is that, after years of Perry, we don't look like a Tent Revival Thunderdome preaching to the uninsured. Oh, wait...

        by papa monzano on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:32:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But in the circumstances (0+ / 0-)

        Complaining about the media is the same thing as complaining about their failed strategy.

        OWS is working as a strategy, it is getting the press coverage and, even better, getting coverage from people who are openly admitting they don't understand what is happening.

        That is the best deal of all, the message is getting out while the messengers don't know what it is so they can't massage it or subvert it.

        As commonmass says above, if the union strategy hasn't worked, its time to change the strategy.

        Part of the problem is that unions can only represent those with jobs who have something to lose. OWS represents everyone who is getting screwed, of which workers are a subset, not the main event.

        While marching in support is OK, fundraising to support, or encouraging personal, anonymous support for OWS would be even better. The Unions need to understand that they paint a target on anything they openly support and they make it easier for the corporate media to diss.

        A union campaign to encourage its membership to make indivvidual donations, or take their leave time and turn up as individuals would be the optimal strategy.

        It wont get any of them on TV; they need to get over that, and themselves. The bigger it gets without "direction" and without "leadership", the harder it will be for TPTB to deal with. At some point, someone, will do something that meets general approval.

        THEN OWS people nod in appreciation. Then they wait till the next thing is done. Then they nod again. But they don't go away, they just keep occupation and protesting the effects and demanding that those who can, do something about.

        And keep nodding approval.

        Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

        by Deep Dark on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:16:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Daaaamn, going from a "blackout" (6+ / 0-)

    to saturation in under a week.

    Every single website and news program is talking about this.

    Progressive Voices on Live365.com, right now, Ed Show, Mike Hartman, etc. it's all they've been talking about all day long.

    Awesome.

    They're talking about this right now and Mike Hartman says don't worry it's how it's always been, people jumping on protests... He's kind of a dork though.

    I worry, and it's been said none of this matters, it's just that Unions have been so demonized that Fox uses this as the perfect excuse for a smear.

    But who gives a shit I guess. It has to become too big for Fox. It's so fucking funny to see the Blaze take a rant by a black girl who mentions food prices for a split second be highlighted as "The protestors blame food prices, Glenn Beck predicted this". And Erin Burnet clipping a short answer about TARP making taxpayers money in the end, good article about that in the NYTimes.

    Who gives a shit I guess. Fuck them. They say that anyway. They said it was started by Van Jones and the Unions before the Unions even joined.

    And did the fucking tea party have live streams with people from every country on Earth chiming in, crying and telling us they love us? The answer is a big fucking no.

    It will get so big none of this shit even matters. They don't even mention the other countries in the news yet. Basically have global support, not global ridicule like the tea party. Oh it's on.

  •  I think the big difference here (4+ / 0-)

    Is that the rightwing media tried to mock the students as being immature and not weighty.

    And it was that derision that will nail them (the rightwing pundits) in the ass in the long run.

  •  You know, this is not a bad problem to have. (6+ / 0-)

    Rage at the Washing Machine

    by Anton Bursch on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:16:00 PM PDT

  •  The NYT article is pretty nuanced, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, blueoldlady, JC from IA

    but the WaPo one smacks of the newspaper's usual condescension toward progressives and non-elites. The Fix is Chris Cilizza's thing, so not really a surprise.

  •  When is the last time a union march lasted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Dark, seabos84

    3 weeks?

    I'm very concerned that this movement will be co-opted by the MoveOns and major unions who will assume control and fuck it up.

    Passive revolution is how the Left gets neutered.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:18:16 PM PDT

    •  How do you coopt this? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orestes1963

      Say I want to. I send my people there. Give interviews, send out press releases. Have my own marches for this-or-that. Throw down a thousand signs and flyers.

      But if the core of OWS sticks with doing what the core of OWS does ... I don't know. Maybe I can divert some press focus onto myself, or fuck the media narrative, because I claim it's all about--I don't know--Fannie Mae. But the media narrative's gonna be fucked anyway, and as long as those beautiful, stubborn, brilliant idiots keep doing what they're doing, how much does it matter?

      I guess it's maybe a big deal in terms of momentum or something. I don't know. Just thinking aloud ...

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:25:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  unions occupied Madison WI (0+ / 0-)

      for quite some time... back in Spring.  Sorry you missed it.

      CWA and IBEW struck Verizon for 2 weeks this fall

      Red Cross workers went on strike for about 2 weeks this spring.

      It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

      by sayitaintso on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:48:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All true (0+ / 0-)

        and the net effect is what?

        I don't for a moment disrespect their effort or their commitment, what I want them to do is realise that the world is different now.

        Strikes and marches don't work, that's all. In a connected world, I, in little old NZ, knew within a day or so about OWS, I was talking about it to family and friends for 10 days before they saw a single news item.

        Now they want to know how come I'm so damned smart? Answer: I'm not, I just use the stupid network to connect with smart people wherever they are.

        OWS may be the current best practise of the stupid mob, deeper and far more persistent and effective than smart mobs. We will see.

        And if this one isn't, the next one will be, or the one after that. When the existing system is broken, its successor is being born in the rubble. Maybe this is it.

        Don't ask me what it might look like when it hatches, I'm not that intelligent, but I'm clever enough to keep an eye on it, try to figure out whether it has teeth and claws and which way it is going. Then get ready to step out of its way.

        Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

        by Deep Dark on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:26:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One of the "13 keys to the presidency" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    ...is "social unrest."  Occupy Wall Street is necessary and sorely overdue, but it could be a problem for Obama because it might be the catalyst for flipping one of the keys.  Shoulda let the pitchforks prevail two years ago...

    With the short and longterm economic keys failing, the enormous midterm losses, GOP setting policy, and the charisma factor played out, "social unrest" could be the deciding factor.  On the other hand, the electoral college state-by-state count favors the president unless he becomes enormously unpopular in the near future.

  •  The Unions have some crazy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Dark

    mofos though that does look kinda' weird.

    That dude that was at the front of the bridge march with his fist in the air like a nazi, he was yelling "Shut the country down" very violently yesterday on the mic.

    Those guys should just stay home.

    I could have sworn that would be the Fox headline today "Crazy Nazi Union man seems to be leading the protests and calls for violently shutting the country down". Even though that's what the tea party has been calling for for years and even using politics to attempt it. But of course, OWS people are the "anarchists".

    It's so funny and sad how people think Unions are the cause of all problems.

  •  If the right wing is on fire... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, alkalinesky, Deep Dark

    ...then we are doin' it right.  The fact that the MSM can't pin down any specific list of demands is making them insane.  

    I think the most interesting thing about this is that no amount of spewing by anyone on the right wing seems to be having any effect other than mobilizing their parrots to spout on the social media.  The fact that FOX and their allies cannot control this thing through their normal means is really forcing them to grasp at straws.  

    The unions joining gave them a convenient scapegoat, but anyone who's been paying attention knows the unions just now got on board.

    "An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty." Alexander Hamilton, Fed. Paper No.1

    by FriedmanIsDead on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:21:02 PM PDT

    •  How specific were the demands of the Tea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah

      Party in 2010?  Didn't seem to bother the corporate media then.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:25:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have an answer to that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        middleagedhousewife, Radiowalla

        The Teaparty had a specific focus in 2010....and that was to elect politicians all across the board that were against increasing taxes.  TEA (Taxed Enough Already).  

        It was a specific demand.  It was THE specific demand.  

        I disagreed with them then and I do now, but, this answers your question.

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:30:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The list of demands (0+ / 0-)

      I think what is taking root here is the organic nature of this protest.  The media all want a list of demands- they don't even know what they are protesting!  Yet, the American people do know exactly what they are complaining about and are in agreement.  And the American people may not be able to articulate a list of specific demands either.  But they KNOW what this is about.  That's part of the movement's potential power.  They don't need to be specific because the problems are so broad.  And they don't need to educate the people because the people are experiencing it for themselves.  This is really about Americans sharing their travails and frustration with each other.

      And the elite/media refuse to understand.

      The divide between the elites/media and the average American, which the former group has widened for the past 20 years at least, has finally resulted in there being two dialogues.  The difference is we know what they're spewing and we're just not listening anymore.

  •  I have a question here (0+ / 0-)

    There is nothing better than having big rallies against specific wrongs in any part of our society.  Right now, it seems there isn't any kind of cohesive message coming out of the OWS rallies.  They're spreading and I love that these young folks are getting involved in the political system by voicing their conserns and so forth...but, there are just so many messages coming out that it is confusing most Americans.  

    Just what is the main issue?  If it is that Wall Street is made up of a bunch of crooks, then what is the remedy they're asking for?  

    If it is that unemployment is far too high and that they blame Wall Street for this, what do they want Wall Street to do to correct this?  

    If it is about the rich/corporations not paying enough in taxes, then they're rallying against the wrong people.  Taxes are enacted by the Congress and approved by the president.  If that's the issue, then they need to be in D.C. walking up the street to the Capitol along with Pennsylvania Ave.

    I know, I know...saying anything that even SOUNDS negative about the OWS rallies isn't accepted here...but, I sincerely support the efforts being made.  But, there has to be a message...not dozens of messages.  There has to be a resolution/solution presented.  Otherwise, it's just a lot of folks who see the desperation of our people because of the economy looking to shine a light on the obvious.  

    With these rallies growing all around our country and with the unions getting involved in them, I'm thinking there's going to be people that will take this opportunity to get some focus for these people.  

    Please don't shoot me for saying this.  Or, if you do decide to do that...at least consider what I'm saying first.  Thanks.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:21:45 PM PDT

    •  In fact, I think what we're learning (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Dark, wsexson

      is that this is 'better than having big rallies against specific wrongs.'

      And that, in fact, the big rallies often don't do shit. But this has a chance--maybe a small chance, but a chance--of actually growing into something.

      The main issue, as I understand it, is that they're against pervasive, systemic economic injustice.

      And I'm not the activist type. I'm the 'sit on his fat ass' type. But goddam, these unfocused hippies are doing something that hasn't been done--while walking in DC for tax changes, or lobbying congress for better financial regulations, has been tried plenty.

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:30:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes...I too like what they're doing (0+ / 0-)

        I just wish there was some actual focus that the MSM could pick up on and possibly help them by running print and other media time for it.  

        Right now, it's getting "mixed reviews"...reports of uncertain objectives...interviews with ralliers that themselves have no clue what it's all about.  

        An "overall focus" won't last as long as a "dedicated focus" would...IMO, of course.

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:37:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That was my first impression, but (0+ / 0-)

          I suspect I'm wrong. They're focusing on something bigger and more pervasive and important. If I'm write and it's something like 'the fact that the top 1% are crushing the rest of us,' that's not really something you can fix with a policy or a personnel change. I'm not sure how you fix it, but first you've gotta get people out there willing to admit that it's the fundamental problem.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:58:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not new, of course (0+ / 0-)

            That's been a belief for many, many months now...even years.  It's more about what can be done about it that's the issue, isn't it?

            The reason we're not seeing much in the way of movement on the richies paying their "fair share" is two fold:

            1.  There are just so many loopholes and just so many ways that the rich can avoid paying their due.  

            2.  The standard argument is that the top 10% earners in the U.S. pay >40% of the total Federal income taxes in America.  

            The fundamental problem is in how the richies are actually USING their money.  Most aren't reinvesting in America.  They're actually "hoarding" their money because the economic climate isn't condusive to more earnings.]

            IMO, of course.

            - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

            by r2did2 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:35:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What's new (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              r2did2

              is the response.

              I don't think #2 matters at all. They are powerful. They control large swathes of Congress and the media. Obama can't even get all the Democrats behind a middling jobs bill. If it wasn't 40% of federal income taxes, it'd be 52% of capital gains tax or something. Doesn't matter what.

              #1, yeah, and we can't even agree on what 'their due' is.

              They've captured the country. I don't know how to fix that, but I know a lot of ways to not fix it.

              "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

              by GussieFN on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 04:04:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Please (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wsexson

          the media will never give this movement an honest appraisal or an opportunity to address the American people.  Surely, you know that?

          I would argue that the wrongs are so broad and pervasive that they don't need a list of wrongs.  They are everywhere.  This is about social unrest and it appears that more and more Americans are starting to express their fears/struggles.  That is what, IMO, is helping this movement to grow.  People need a solution to the general mess we are dealing with.  And they understand intuitively that the only way to get there is to stand up and be counted- even if that only means nodding in approval as they sit in their recliner, watching a report on the news.  

          This movement has "right" on its side.  That is a tool more powerful than a list of demands or manufactured/controlled media coverage.

    •  Not shooting (0+ / 0-)

      The problem is global and generational.

      Americans have been confused for a very long time, that confusion is only now coming to the surface. Until it is fully blown and present and conscious, it can't be dealt with.

      OWS is showing the scope and scale of the probnlem and everyone who sees it can spot something with which they feel affinity. That lets them join up in person or in spirit.

      The next step is to see that ALL these "issues" are part of the same problem and OWS is pointing to the problem by its location.

      Its not a movement which clearly implies going from where you are to some other place and being done when you get there.

      An occupation is different. It can afford not to be in a hurry nor to use any of the usual terms like "reach" an agreement or "deal" with a problem or any of that active stuff.

      Part of our problem is actually the English language. We are addicted to verbs. Every sentence has to have one.

      I can't say "I, Deep Dark." I have to say "I AM Deep Dark" We can't express an idea unless it is attached to an action, we even have verbs whose sole purpose is to add verbs to sentences that don't need them.

      OWS is avoiding all that and creating huge cognitive dissonance which expresses itself as confusion. But it takes lot for a nation to reach a state of genuinely apprehended confusion when it has had so much cog idss for so long that it accepts as normal phrases such as "compassionate conservative" and then can't see the warmonger and corporatist thug who utters it.

      The confusion is part of the awakening. It will resolve itself when its ready.

      Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

      by Deep Dark on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:40:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Or, is this just a strategy to divide? (4+ / 0-)

    I know if it was my aim to try to separate the unions and the protesters, this is a tactic I might think of: create friction between the groups wherever possible.

  •  If the movement causes the positive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah

    change desired no one will care where the credit lands. If it fades away into the either there will be a sufficient blame meme created to cover everyone involved.

  •  Co-option happens all the time (0+ / 0-)

    on the left.

    In the early days of the Iraq war, there were anti-war demonstrations and marches where various and sundry leftist groups piggy-backed on to the message.  For example, Gay and Lesbian Rights, Free Mumia-Abu Jamal, anti-death penalty, pro-legalization of marijuana, you name it.  Not to mention the anarchists who came to the marches and broke windows all over downtown San Francisco.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:24:01 PM PDT

  •  Much ado about nada (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alienshores, alkalinesky, lysias, nytcek

    My take is that the MSN will do whatever it can to quell the protests. And that includes creating dissent.

    If they thought it would work, they'd drive a wedge between men and women over the issue of four women being maced got more attention than some men being slammed to the ground.

    Apparently they think that portraying as "hippies" would throw a wet blanket on the whole thing. Because, like wow. Everyone knows the dirty fucking hippies ruined the '60s for everyone. Cough.

    Because if OWS were "organized" it would be accused of being organized. If it were made up of all well dressed people it would be accused of hypocrisy.

    Notice a trend here?

  •  The best way to think about it is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Dark, orestes1963

    It's a successful protest, for whatever reason, and it should be assumed that its success has something to do with its approach, which is pluralistic, inclusive, and growing.  The unions should join to be there with other people and grow their numbers.  For instance, they could go on their own marches from OWS locations, which will draw plenty of attention, given that they draw such numbers.  The truth is that OWS is not demanding a job or benefits, they're there to tell Wall Street to cut the shit.  Any working person and every out of work person should be ok with that.  99%.  But everyone, including the unions, should be wary of anybody commandeering, and therefore compromising, the behavior of a lot of people who are in a lot of pain and who have legitimate grievances (That's why it's a right).        

    •  One small change. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe joe

      The unions should not be assembling at OWS and marching away.

      They should be assembling in small groups on the outskirts and marching inwards, towards the centre. And only assembling finally when they get there. And only then pick up their placards.

      Then make a donation and go home.

      And do it again tomorrow.

      OWS is a new ritual. Unions need to create their own new rituals. The first task is to fuck over the minds of the media.

      Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

      by Deep Dark on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:45:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can we advocate (0+ / 0-)

    Occupying corporate media and shutting down this false dichotomy and phantom opposition shit reporting? How about, along with ending corporate personhood, we reinstate a true free press? Journalism. It does a democracy good.

  •  it was quite noticeable yesterday, to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    r2did2

    at least, that the unions were trying actively to make sure NOT to make this a "union" rally or "union" protest, which I feared they would.

    Every speaker talked about 99% and wall street abuses. Many used terms like workers but more so they used terms like "the rest of us". Great voice was given to the plight of students and homeowners and small business people.

    I think they are being very careful right now and respectful of the movement.

    I think one of the reasons the unions have had bigger rallies and been ignored is because a rally is one freaking day. This is an occupation. Not only that, but unions are part of the machine. They have a history. they are part of the same old political apparatus. There's no REASON, from a news standpoint, to pay attention, per se. And frankly, as much as I respect the unions, I think today's unions could stand to sit back and learn a couple tips from the "rabble" camped out in the park. There's a lot of good to be gleaned from it. When unions were scrappier, they got more done. Today they sit in HUGE block long office building on prime real estate in Washington DC (you should see SEIU's office building. My god!). So maybe a little getting "back to basics" would help. The occupiers can pick up a thing or two as well but really this all started with a stupid website and a lot of passion.

    I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

    by mdmslle on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:34:13 PM PDT

  •  Peel off the Union sticker (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdembrey, Deep Dark

    The less this has a Union sticker on it, the more successful it will be.  If union members, on their own, want to show up- great, but when unions start busing people  in it's a manufactured movement.

    Occupy Wall Street need to stand clear of any longstanding establishments - including the democratic party and unions.

  •  There's the media and there's reality... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orestes1963

    This has grown way beyond a thing that can be controlled or coordinated and it matters not what the media can figure out about how to spin this.

    Connect the dots.

    What is really missing in the length and breadth of the entire political spectrum of debate in our country is a clear picture of just what Wall Street is and what it does all day every day.  

    Think about it.  Most people have very little if any real information about what is going on within the banking system, especially at the multi billion and trillion dollar level.  

    That there are now something like 200 protests that have sprung up around the country is a serious thing, whatever the hell it is.  

    If just the people involved get more informed that could be a significant part of the population right there.

    The best way the real deal gets across to people is through networking.  Not the media.  Networking.

    That is the key to this.

    Networking is not about controlling the finer points of spin.
    What gets across is pretty basic:

    The geniuses on Wall Street have been damn stupid, and it is on their doorstep that this angst belongs.

    People in public office can figure out what they can do.  

    Who coordinates what is not very important considering that no matter who you are or what your political beliefs were yesterday, the same general atmosphere of pain and frustration applies.  You feel that even though you may not have an analysis for why.  

    Take it to the big banks and the multinationals.  Sooner or later, some sort of adjustment in the scheme of things will begin to occur.

    What those people pay attention to is the raw grunting power of something pushing them.  They aren't listening and they don't care.  This all looks like a bunch of ants far below.

    What matters is that apathy not set in.  At present it doesn't look like apathy is much of a danger for a while.  

    What this is, has very little any more to do with protest.

    This is way bigger than politics.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:39:12 PM PDT

  •  Unions have always had a prickly relationship w (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    r2did2, stolen water, Diebold Hacker

    movements.

    I'm on a ferry boat going to Occupy Seatle right now and I'll be wearing my Machinist Local 751 hat. And yes I'll be sleeping outdoors tonight.

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:41:15 PM PDT

  •  Ah, hell, it's always a delicate balance (3+ / 0-)

    with the left.  We don't march in lockstep like the right - we are opinionated and quarrelsome and given to tolerating things and people we don't like because we really believe in freedom.

    Just like other movements, this one will survive and cause things to change.  The excitement is palatable.

  •  unions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckybadger1988, Diebold Hacker

    have a legitimate beef about the lack of coverage for their marches in recent years.

    the problem is that unions simply are not as powerful as they used to be, and they cannot move mountains on their own as easily.

    so enter in the non-union OWS, who can march in solidarity with the unions and who share many of the same goals. this seems to be a win-win alliance.

  •  Something really has to be said for people that (3+ / 0-)

    are willing to sleep out in NYC in the cold and rain and will not give up. I think when others see this they realize this is not a group that we will be able to placate with lame attempts to placate.

    I think they symbolize the best in us all, when we are willing to leave our comfort zones.

    Power to the 99. Good Luck and thank you for what you have done and will do.

  •  Sure, there is a little frustration there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckybadger1988

    on the part of unions looking at the wider media coverage of OWS.

    But that frustration is trifling compared to the good will and support for OWS from unions.  It is ridiculous to wallow on this point and overemphasize a division that really doesn't amount to much in the big picture.

    I've blogged about unions here at DK and my particular beef about coverage is that the corporate media has covered events I've attended much better than DK.  Now hopefully Laura's good work will help to change that kind of thing but the essential challenge for unions wrt DK is that most DK readers really aren't interested.  It is my impression that support for unions is weaker at DK than with the average American.  Despite the union struggles in WI, OH and other states, the traction doesn't exist at DK yet.  One of the most dynamic union leaders, Leo Gerard, wrote a diary in April that was largely ignored.

    The subject of this post also needs to be turned on its head because another question worth asking is:

    How else is OWS going to grow the size of protests unless it involves some kind of loose coalition building  with student groups, unions, or even perhaps some tea party chapters?  There are a lot of other people organized in all kinds of ways that fit in that 99%.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 03:01:43 PM PDT

  •  If creating a unified protest movement (0+ / 0-)

    were easy, it wouldn't be much of a movement.  Internal politics and personalities are extremely difficult to manage, but OWS seems to be doing a good job so far.  Bringing together 99% of the people for anything does sound a bit over-the-top, however, just the attempt is making a big difference.

    Furthermore, OWS didn't form in a vacuum...the efforts that got little media attention earlier contributed to the momentum that finally broke through with Occupy.  Uncut, Rebuild the Dream, Capitalism: A Love Story, Wisconsin and other union rallies... all of that is needed to make things like OWS happen.  Instead of dwelling on "why them and not us"...other organizations should just say "great job guys, you did it...and you got our support too".

    Just my two cents...

  •  Somebody is scared that the OWS and the unions (0+ / 0-)

    are joining each other.  OWS might not want to be co-opted.   But, union people are part of the 99%.  

    Unless OWS wants to exclude people, in which case there will just be separate groups fighting the same thing, they shouldn't assume they are so pure and everyone else is corrupt.

    They should think of the union people as individuals who are trying to keep food on the table for their kids.

    Everyone should work together. Don't allow the extreme right or whatever you want to call them to create scapegoats.

    Remember the Polish unions were the ones that overthrew their dictators. Each generation has a group that pulls tries to stop corruption. Now it is OWS. Before that it was unions.

    When OWS people get jobs, they will want to be in a union or at least have weekends off.

  •  Defining moment: to remain undefined. (0+ / 0-)

    The movement needs to continue to grow. As long as the message is broad and inclusive people will continue to join and stay. There are many social and economic injustices that need to be addressed and - my 2 cents - I believe that organizers are doing a spectacular job keeping everyone involved at all levels of the discussion.

    The one thing that concerns me is that with unions, politicians, pundits, and famous people joining/jumping-on the bandwagon that the uprising will stolen/co-opted from the masses.

    The spokespeople for the movement need to continue to be the people with their feet on the street. As soon as public entities or figures are allowed to abscond with the message the movement will die, be co-opted, or marginalized.

    You can safely assume you have created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. Anne Lamott

    by zooecium on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 03:34:36 PM PDT

  •  Hypocracy in the media (0+ / 0-)

    Just wondering why when the Tea Party movement started Fox played it as "those darn Americans expressing their constitutionally guarranteed freedom of speech to their government" but the occupy movement is seen as a bunch of " troublemakers".Makes me wonder.

  •  Meanwhile, back at the ranch... (0+ / 0-)

    The kochs have put their minions to work on project RedMap.

    This protest is so 1970s.  There are better ways of getting things done today and the lunatics on the right have found them.  The left is living in the past.

  •  NEA Efforts have been fucking VAPID & meaningless (0+ / 0-)

    I'm getting phone calls to call my sell out senators - Murray and Cantwell -

    to pass 0-sell-0ut's bullshit jobs bill -

    the bill which uses the RIGHT WING ploy of defunding social security with a right wing "payroll tax cut",

    the bill which pits the future elderly against today's cops & nurses and teachers ---

    all cuz obama has been, and is, too busy kissing the asses of fucking lying sell outs like Joe Lieberman.

    us peeee-ons are getting Veal Pen "action" from our union "leaders" who are happy happy happy with a couple of white house pens and photo op.

    There SHOULD be tension between our upper middle class go along get along don't rock the boat "leadership" and people putting their asses on the line down in the street.

    IF union "Leaders" had done more than be veal pen patsies, shit wouldn't be so bad.

    rmm.    

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:16:41 PM PDT

  •  As a union member, many of us are in fact far (0+ / 0-)

    left already. They must have edited the crap out of this report to find what was probably one person and even then, could have taken it out of context. The MSM is not our friends. Unless they get it straight, i wouldn't talk to them at all. They have the same agenda as any other corporation would have.

  •  Cantor calls Wall Street Protesters and Demonstrat (0+ / 0-)

    Who are these right wing religious conservatives? Who are they to be Calling us Mobs and Un-American how obnougous? Didn’t they support the Tea party when they were stomping around the U.S. cities making all sorts of idle threats carrying guns! Why is our moral and social agenda being steered or managed by one religious element? What happen to freedom of choice, separation of church and state? There is the peoples work at hand to be done. Cantor used part of his address to attack the Occupy Wall Street protests then moved on to declare they will defund Planned Parenthood and support DOMA, which recognizes marriage on the federal level as being between one man and one woman. How does this put people back to work? How is even one job being created here? The full court press is on. The “Corporate Oligarchy” and there right wing Republican allies are starving the economy, not one penny for jobs, not one dollar for investment¬s; but Trillions of corporate dollars are sitting on the sidelines in republican corporate coffers, Yet they have plenty of time to attend to their religious social agendas. Everything else is in that car to nowhere! They call Wall Street Protesters Mobs and un-American; Conservatives are killing jobs and they are starving our brothers and sisters people are flat out in trouble. They are doing everything they can to force those employment numbers higher and the economy into a slowdown. In an effort to get these crazies elected in 2012. They blame the bad economy on failed Obama policies rather than the inherited war torn, bailout, investment fraud Bush legacy and are exasperating all attempts to retrieve it with their blockade. While defending the life of the unborn they have no respect for the living. They are holding to their demands to protect the great divide between the 99% and the 1%. “Occupy Everywhere” We Love You Seize the streets Ω fah451bks

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