Check for Updates below…
Dear Friends: The Occupy[InsertCityHere] movement is garnering some attention, and two of our intrepid members of the San_Diego Local Order of Bloggers (SLOBs) went to the OccupySanDiego event to check out:
* What the motivation was.
* What they think of Team Obama.
* If it was grassroots or astroturfed.
* The media presence and take on the event.
I urge you to read the posts of W.C. Varones (who posts a video) and Left Coast Rebel (who has details and a photoessay).
I was able to talk to Chris Reed on his TOP STORY program on AM 600 yesterday about this very topic, and was grateful I had a chance to talk to W.C. before airtime. I think the most significant thing I said about the inevitable comparisons to the tea party was this: While we both have issues with Washington DC’s corrupt involvement with the banking system, Occupy’s solution is for more government controls and our solution is less.
So, based on the reports, here are some of the answers to the above questions.
* What the motivation was. From Left Coast Rebel.
I got the feeling that leftists have been waiting and waiting for some sort of movement to get behind as the Tea Party has gained power and prominence over the last 2 years. Just how far will the Occupy/”We are the 99%” go? It’s hard to say. The anti-bailout message is non-ideological but the fringe elements of most of the group will likely keep them on the periphery of the American political scene.
* What they think of Team Obama. From Left Coast Rebel.
Leftists are not happy with Obama’s cronyism, bailouts, war expansion and other issues — lots of these issues (cronyism and bailouts especially) are areas that Tea Partiers and Occupiers can find a lot of common ground.
* If it was grassroots or astroturfed. W.C. Varones indicated that the crowd was a mix, and did see some professional looking signs. Left Coast Rebel’s photos indicate that the Green Party and various Socialist organizations were represented. However, the San Diego event seemed authentic. However, this is not true of other events: Organizer Admits to Paying Occupy DC Protesters
Interviewed in Spanish, the protesters told conflicting stories about how their group was organized. Some said it was organized at their church, and that they were there as volunteers. Others, however, referred to the man from the DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition — the only Caucasian in the group — as their “boss.”
* The media presence and take on the event. The elite media has always portrayed tea party members as a mob. As “Occupiers” defecate on police cars, camp in public areas for extended periods of time, and interrupt the lives of regular Americans trying to earn a living, we will see how much the “smart set” reports tally with the information from intrepid citizen reporters (like W.C. and Left Coast Rebel). Here is a snippet from the San Diego Union Tribune:
The demonstration, which is planned to last indefinitely, reflects similar protests that the Occupy Wall Street movement started a few weeks ago in New York and have spread to other cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Seattle…Protesters say they are fed up with a financial industry that received unprecedented taxpayer bailouts while damaging an economy in which unemployment remains above 9 percent. “The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” the group’s national website says.
Some food for thought:
This was the most “offensive” at a past tea party rally:
Here is how the phrase was turned for the Occupy San Diego rally:
I can’t wait to hear what the “Civility Police” will have to say about Mr. 99%!
Now, I would like to wrap this up with some further analysis. I am not rich, not a member of some vast corporation, and don’t have political connections. But, this group does NOT represent me — and I am appalled that they pull a fake number out of their posterior and try to make themselves more than they are. However, as many of them are Man-Caused Global Warming cultists, using false statistics to make their case must come naturally.
And speaking of energy idiocy, let’s take a look at two of the group’s conflicting demands:
Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.
Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.
So we can’t use fossil fuel or develop nuclear power, two of the best ways to produce energy powering the coffee machines and laptops keeping the Occupiers going — yet, we are suppose to shuffle
millions… billions..trillions for green energy pipe dreams. Makes me wonder if these protesters are former Soyndra employees with lots of spare time on their hands.
UPDATE 1: It seems the Atlanta Occupiers didn’t allow “Civil Rights Hero” and Congressman John Lewis speak at their event. Looks like they didn’t read the Diversity Guide by which tea parties are judged.
UPDATE 2: The OccupySanDiego crowd seems civilized. However, Occupy DC Protest Thugs Storm Smithsonian and Pin Guard Against Wall and 25 Arrested at Occupy Seattle Face Charges of “Obstructing a Public Officer”. This is very troubling, as Team Obama would like to do nothing more the Declare a State of Emergency, and use this crisis to serve itself.
UPDATE 3: Another Tea Party Pundit, this one from the American Spectator, also went to an Occupy rally — this time, at Wall Street —
Within minutes of my arrival downtown, not only were my preconceptions confirmed, I also observed a dizzying array of grievances being aired that have nothing to do with the economic straits of this country. As a patriotic American, the first thing I noticed was that many of the thousands of protesters held signs that were either printed by socialist organizations, or called for socialist revolution. “Smash Imperialism Through International Socialist Revolution,” breathlessly exhorted one. Ask any peasant farmer how that works out in the end. “Fight for Socialism,” said another. Funny, I thought that as a free country many of our collective efforts have been devoted to fighting against socialism. “Marx was Right. Resource Based Economy!” Hmm… who would have invented that protester’s iPhone in whatever the hell a resource based economy is? Even a fairly innocuous sign protesting cuts to the City University of New York said at the bottom that it was printed by a group called the “Party for Socialism and Liberation” — an organization with two strikingly antithetical philosophies in their name.
The last straw was when I was handed a copy of the socialist: Magazine of the Socialist Party USA. At that point, I had a strong urge to either report myself to HUAC or take a long shower. A man near me mumbled to no one in particular that “this is what democracy looks like.” Apparently democracy masquerades as a ragtag bunch of would-be Stalinists.
My second observation was that the protesters have a distinct spirit of defeatism and unwillingness to do anything for themselves. “Jail Sallie Mae. End all Student Debt,” said one sign. “F*ck your unpaid internship,” said another. “You want demands? We want a future,” was scrawled on a piece of cardboard playing off of the public perception that the protesters have no organized slate of goals. “Where is OUR bailout?” “Shelters are not family friendly!” “Tax the Rich!” The hits kept on coming.
The author also answered my question as to what all the masked men were about:
Genuinely troubling, however, is the involvement of Anonymous, a group of geeks emboldened by their proficiency in computer crime. The hackers of Anonymous indiscriminately commit cyber attacks against groups they disagree with. They claim to be a leaderless collective, a theme which they have carried over to OWS. Their chief contribution to the occupation is a prevalence of Guy Fawkes masks. Fawkes, the engineer of the failed 1604 Gunpowder Plot to blow up the British Parliament, is a sort of mascot for the group. They also stress the notion that the occupation is for the 99 percent, essentially anyone not part of the 1 percent of Americans who supposedly hold the vast bulk of wealth. Political science 101: always be suspicious of someone who claims to speak for you, but whose appointment you had no hand in. Incidentally, a corporate Hollywood movie is responsible for the recent resurgence of Guy Fawkes as a folk hero. These anti-corporatists sure borrow freely from corporations.
That’s just super!