On September 17, 2011 hundreds if not a thousand or more people marched into New York’s financial district for a peaceful protest. The Mayor of New York had police block off Wall Street to prevent the planned Occupy Wall Street movement. #Occupywallstreet as it is known on Twitter is about many things to many people, but the underlying message is reform of Wall Street and an end to corporate welfare. A thousand or more people marching into an area to protest anything would normally get modest media coverage, but not this time.
MSNBC posted a written article on its website and CNN had a brief clip and two written articles on its website that you would not find unless you were looking. Fox News had a brief post on its websites, underplaying the protest, claiming only 300 people had shown up, a stark contrast to MSNBC’s more than 1000 estimate and far less than suggested by images and videos.
On Sunday, the protest was still active. The protestors slept in a park. You would think that at least one of the major North American networks would be there to ask, “Why are you here?” Additionally, the protest is not trending on twitter and people are reporting errors when trying to post. It is hard not to jump to conclusions about a cover-up by the corporate system. I know the people in New York are asking questions.
So what are they afraid of? The Occupy Wall Street movement has been inspired by events in Egypt and the Arab Spring movement sweeping across the Middle East. Maybe Wall Street and Washington have a reason to be worried. The U. S. is collapsing under mismanagement and an unimaginable debt load. Top this off with staggering unemployment rates and corporate bailouts and the people are becoming tired. On the right side of the political spectrum, you have seen the rise of the Tea Party Movement, and now we are seeing the rise of a new movement, a coalition of centre left groups that are calling for revolution. The ironic part is that while the protesters are marching and camping out in New York, they are not only under attack by biased print media that is underplaying the movement, the American Right is calling the protestors socialists, communists, anti-capitalists, and anti-democratic. The members of the Right, who want change, have named their movement the Tea Party after the American revolutionaries. The Tea Partiers are calling the protesters, who also want revolutionary change, anti-democratic and are doing everything in their power to discredit the protest. The two groups should be marching side by side, supported by workers and small business people who have been hurt the most by the financial collapse and the decisions made by government and the speculators on Wall Street. It is not anti-democratic or capitalist to call for change to a system that is broken. In a system where the working class is suffering and has seen no real increase in wages in decades while the top 1% is doing better than ever before, why is it so surprising when the people rise up and demand change?