Occupy First; Ask Questions Later
What the hell are the Wall Street occupiers protesting? Do they even know?
The “Occupy Wall Street” hoodlums have been occupying Zuccotti Park (formerly Liberty Plaza) near Manhattan’s financial district for almost three weeks, with no signs of leaving. They have literally been occupying the park—demonstrating without a police permit and setting up living quarters, complete with their own sleeping area, kitchen, and “library.” They have been clogging neighboring streets and bridges. They have pledged to occupy the area through the coming winter.
Demonstrators are trying to boost the legitimacy of their operation by passing out hundreds of thousands of copies of their self-published, four-page diatribe, “The Occupied Wall Street Journal.”
The self-described occupiers are, of course, long-haired, hippie-ish, slovenly, litter-strewing, profanity-spewing, Marxism-spouting, law-and-order-despising, ill-informed, inarticulate, slack-jawed, and unfocused—in other words, your typical left-wing mob.
(You knew the mob just had to be leftist before you even heard what it was about. From what other portion of the political spectrum could activists organize so many thousands of unemployed people to do nothing but sit around in the street and chant all day? Contrast the Wall Street occupation with Tea Party rallies, which always take place in the evening or on weekends, outside of work hours.)
The highlight of the movement so far came when New York City police arrested 700 thugs who unlawfully marched into the traffic lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday evening, cutting off traffic for hours.
Not ashamed in the slightest at their disruptive, feral behavior, the picketers have been screaming “police brutality” over their supposedly shocking mistreatment. Such brutality has included police telling marchers that they would be arrested if they blocked the Brooklyn Bridge, then arresting marchers when they blocked the Brooklyn Bridge. Dissenters were lined up in neat, orderly rows in plastic handcuffs and then escorted away in vans—or, in protestors’ minds, tortured and abused by sadistic Gestapo officers.
Dreadlocked hooligans have set up tent cities in support of the Wall Street protestors in Boston, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle.
On Monday the protestors held a “corporate zombie” march, with participants dressed like zombie bankers stuffing Monopoly money in their mouths.
Celebrity lefties such as Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Russell Simmons, Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Roseanne “Robespierre” Barr have made guest appearances to support the protestors.
So what exactly are the protestors protesting?
The Associated Press characterizes the activists’ grievances as “corporate greed and other issues.” That’s about as specific and succinct a description as you’re likely to find anywhere, including in the protestors’ own literature.
The “other issues” protestors have railed against include—and this is far from an exhaustive list: bank bailouts, home foreclosures, high unemployment, global warming, destruction of the ecosystem, poverty, food modification, excessive health care company profits, Islamophobia, Jewish control of the economy, social inequality, the execution of Troy Davis, and the inclusion of American Indian-abuser Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.
One movement leader narrated a video in which he states that the marchers are protesting the following evils: “corporatism, fascism, crony capitalism, a police state, an American empire, [too many] military bases, dead bodies in Iraq, a ‘welfare warfare’ state, and ‘Republi-crats.’” The site hosting the video explains that protestors’ strategy “was inspired by recent uprisings in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia”—as though the causes of the austerity protests in Western Europe were remotely related to the causes of the democracy protests in the Middle East.
Perhaps this is a clue: The demonstrators have held many of their rallies in front of Federal Reserve buildings around the country. Does that mean they’re protesting the existence of the Federal Reserve? Are they opposed to its manipulation of the U.S. currency, including the Obama administration’s quantitative easing programs? Are they calling for a return to the gold standard?
Why no, actually, those are demands being made by attendees at Tea Party rallies. In fact, those are thoughtful demands I could actually get behind.
In contrast, the Occupy Wall Street protestors are less focused in their goals.
Thus, in one video, we get such contradictory statements as the following musings, separated by mere minutes:
“It’s about, like, people making things happen, rather than expecting, like, someone else to take care [of you].”
“It’s a process of educating people… that we have to be first and foremost altruistic, and care for the collective before caring for ourselves.”
Whereas the Tea Party’s message is razor sharp and crystal clear—limit the size and scope of the federal government and restore individual liberty—the occupiers’ message is fuzzy and incoherent, a miasma of unfocused, seething rage.
Even the über-liberal The Nation, which recently featured a helpful FAQ section on the movement, groaned, “Ugh—the zillion-dollar question” in response to an honest query on what the demands of the protestors are. They elaborated: “The General Assembly [Occupy Wall Street’s organizing body] is currently in the midst of determining how it will come to consensus about unifying demands. It’s a really messy and interesting discussion. But don’t hold your breath.”
Riot first; self-reflect later. The motto of the radical left.