Media, HuffPost Celebrate Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, Wonder If Violence Would Have Helped
Several media outlets actually celebrated the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, even though they’ve largely vanished as a political force. The media really rooted for them, with ABC’s Diane Sawyer taking the cake for overstatement, saying that OWS had “spread to a thousand countries.”
Sean Long of the MRC’s Business and Media Institute relayed that Huffington Post Live host Alyona Minkovski interviewed a group of Occupy supporters who have remained involved in the movement since the beginning. When asked whether the Occupiers should have tried violence -- they didn't? -- they were less than outraged at the question:
Minkovski read one online comment that asked “was it a mistake that [Occupy Wall Street] was a peaceful protest?” She acknowledged the dangerous nature of this question, though she compared the protests to the violent austerity riots in Europe and to the Arab Spring revolutions. Long-time Occupier and co-director of liberal organization It’s Our Economy, Margaret Flowers answered the question, not by denigrating violence, but with a pragmatic argument that “violence would have been repressed more strictly.”
Flowers claimed that the goal of Occupy Wall Street is not to pursue concrete legislation. Instead it is “about creating a new world we want to live in.” Furthermore, calling from the Occupy protest in New York, Jose Martin (another Occupier) clarified that the goal of the movement was not about demanding something from the power structure but to “create models for a new society.” Martin proceeded to identify himself as “more on the radical end” than the liberal/progressive spectrum.
What sort of change do the OWS protesters want? Nothing short of the “end of capitalism.” The movement’s website remains radical. It is prominently emblazoned with a picture of a closed fist, historically associated with revolutionaries including the Russian Bolshevik party. Continuing its revolutionary theme, the website is plastered with Marxist slogans like “The revolution continues worldwide” and “the only solution is World Revolution.” The movement continues to “demand an end to capitalism.”
During the HuffPo live interview, the Occupiers did express support for various proposals such a more than doubling the minimum wage to $15-an-hour as previously supported by the fast food workers unions. They also took credit for the withdrawal of Larry Summers’ candidacy for Federal Reserve Chairman. Flowers also claimed Occupy had succeeded two years ago in changing the national conversation concerning money in politics.