October 12, 2011
The Occupy Wall Street Movement now has a newspaper called “The Occupied Wall Street Journal”. Supposedly the money for it was raised online and the first issue printed 50,000 copies.
The first page of it featured a beautiful woman holding a tambourine, displayed to the reader in typical Madison Avenue eye-catching style along with basic articles about the occupation, the most interesting being, “Occupation for dummies…How it came about, what it means,how it works”.
Attempting to answer some basic questions about the protests the article includes the following excerpts:
What are the demands of the protesters?
“Ugh‚ the zillion-dollar question. Again, the original Adbusters call asked, “What is our one demand?” Technically, there isn’t one yet. In the weeks leading up to Sept.17, the NYC General Assembly seemed to be veering away from the language of “demands” in the first place, largely because government institutions are already so shot through with corporate money that making specific demands would be pointless until the movement grew stronger politically. Instead, to begin with, they opted to make their demand the occupation itself—and the direct democracy taking place there—which in turn may or may not come up with some specific demand. When you think about it, this act is actually a pretty powerful statement against the corruption that Wall Street has come to represent. But since thinking is often too much to ask of the American mass media, the question of demands has turned into a massive PR challenge. The General Assembly 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.”
What would a “win” look like for the occupation?
“Again, that depends on whom you ask. As Sept. 17 approached, the NYC General Assembly really saw its goal, again, not so much as to pass some piece of legislation or start a revolution as to build a new kind of movement. It wanted to foment similar assemblies around the city and around the world, which would be a new basis for political organizing in this country, against the over-whelming influence of corporate money. That is starting to happen, as similar occupations are cropping up in dozens of other cities. I’ve heard some people saying, when Liberty Plaza was swamped with TV news cameras, “We’ve already won!” Others think they’ve hardly begun. Both, in some sense, are true.”
So in other words “What do we want?! (Fill in the blank).”
While this particular article is vague on demands, the Declaration of the General Assembly on the page before it lists every liberal cause under the sun as a grievance.
Despite the paper’s obscure articles, the men credited for organizing the paper– Arun Gupta and Jed Brandt– in the past have been quite outspoken regarding their own beliefs on what needs to change in America.
Arun Gupta is an activist and writer. He is the is a founding editor of The Indypendent newspaper. In this episode of RT’s Cross Talk (not sure when it was broadcast but it was uploaded to YouTube on September 26th) that asks whether or not capitalism is dead, he argues that capitalism led the United States and the world to its current economic state against others on the panel who point out that it wasn’t capitalism but corporatism that led to the bailouts…a result of big government picking winners and losers.
Jed Brandt is a writer, photographer, and artist whose work has appeared in The Indypendent. He is also part of the Kasama Project, which according to its own website “is a communist project for the forcible overthrow and transformation of all existing social conditions.”
On the Kasama Project web site’s “About” page, under the headline “REVOLUTION: rethinking the unthinkable” it states:
“We intend to identify those fault lines where radical thought and action can emerge. We want to go deeply among the people to prepare minds and organize forces for revolution; for a global transformation of human life; for the urgent rescue of the biosphere from capitalist destruction; for the radical dismantling of the U. S. empire – its military, its nuclear weapons and torture camps; for the uprooting of intolerable racial inequalities and the archaic brutalities of male supremacy; for the final liberation of humanity from the restless, soulless rule of capitalist profit making!”
This clip of Brandt is from last year.
Though people like these two individuals do not represent the majority of Americans who are justifiably outraged at government corruption and the theft of taxpayer money, people like them are being thrust to the forefront of the ‘Occupy’ protests in the media’s attempt to represent the latest demonstrations of American anger as anti-capitalist. In the past, the scale of right vs. left has been one that has featured those who believed the government should keep its hands off the free market on the right, and those who reasonably believed in private property and economic freedom but also in their perception of social responsibility and government safeguards on the left. With much of the media coming out in general support of this increasingly radical steered movement, the left bookend has been shifted dangerously closer to an area our grandparents who fought against communism and its deplorable effects on humanity would have never believed our country would seriously venture into. The American people need to stand up now, reclaim their anger, and claim these protests back in the name of reasonable people again, seeking not the end of capitalism and the free market, but the end of the Federal Reserve as the first step towards real recovery.
Otherwise mad men will continue to fill the void.
Andrew Steele’s post first appeared on his blog, America 20XY.