Here are some common myths portrayed by the Mass Media. The best way to learn about OWS or any other Occupy Movement is to go sleep there for a couple nights and talk with people, otherwise you only scratch the surface.
They don’t have jobs and shouldn’t be wasting time protesting, but job hunting
False. Most people I talked to were employed, self-employed, or students. I met a man who had slept there for almost a week who runs a Kombucha brewery in the South (Virginia I believe) and sells nationally to Whole Foods and a plethora of other merchants. I met a boat repairman who had been there for a couple weeks and was not out of work. I met groups of students on break from North Carolina who had followed the movement online and made a road trip of it. I met a man from California who took off time from work to be there. I myself treated this as vacation time. Many other employed persons protest over night there because they realize the need for a new paradigm shift in American culture.
Just another point, no one goes out and sleeps on stone, in the cold, rain, and 24/7 construction/traffic because its fun. The only fun part about this movement is the non-stop energy of a budding community and profound fellowship.
They’re all a bunch of loony liberals
False. You can’t really classify this group. Sure there are a lot of liberal minded people, but they are not Democrats. There are socialists, libertarians, conservatives, liberals, anarchists, spiritual leaders, Ron Paulers, people who want to end the Federal Reserve, and people who don’t fit fully into any category. It is truly a people’s movement.
They’re totally disorganized and they don’t have a cohesive message
False. I learned first hand that Democracy can be cumbersome and difficult. Especially with no microphones. However, when things went smoothly many important decisions were made such as Budgetary concerns, report backs from The People’s Library, The Media Working Group, Medical Working Group, Direct Action, etc etc. Take a look at their new General Assembly Website and see for yourself Democracy at work. This type of Democracy has problems and conflicts no doubt, but Occupiers are determined to come to compromises.
Many people don’t understand what these people are protesting about. There are a plethora of issues that decorate protestors’ signs. I believe in order to make significant changes in the society we currently have cohesive action must be taken in regards to each issue. Slowly the movement is developing cohesive working groups and canvasing contingents to work out these problems. Additionally communications and Solidarity are being developed with other groups such as Unions, Veterans for Peace, and many many more.
There is one thing that is very cohesive. These people believe we live in a society that is currently crashing, starting with the lower and middle classes. It is an unsustainable ever consuming society. The government is paralyzed and Corporations are extracting the wealth of most everyone. The OWS movement has a cohesive declaration in the form of ACTION. They are removing themselves as much as possible from a crumbling empire and setting up their own COMMUNITY. Leading by example Occupiers develop relationships with their neighbors around the park. Leading by example Occupiers reject corporatism and are dedicated to PEOPLE. Leading by example Occupiers have literally staked out a parcel of land that they are declaring liberated from a society drunk on excess and lacking compassion. In all honesty I don’t believe this movement will lose steam until the economy recovers, which appears unlikely.
All of the police are cruel and brutal. Shame on them!
While I was there I saw no police brutality, this isn’t to say it doesn’t happen. Considering the circumstances and the high energy of the Occupiers the NYPD held their cool very well. I saw one arrest and it was not out of order. Despite the fact that the NYPD serves the interest of the %1 they are still people and whether they realize it or not they are part of the %99. Many police would kindly talk with protestors. This is not to say the police haven’t snapped and lashed out at previous marches, but from what I saw things were peaceful despite the tension.
OWS isn’t contributing anything to the community
OWS has a working group dealing with community relations and has formed a good neighbor policy to ensure amiable relations with their neighbors. Also local business was stimulated by Occupiers despite what the media says. Sadly, I saw some protestors even eating McDonalds, but most purchased from local working class vendors.
In my 3 days in NYC I had about 12 hours of sleep. Delirium is setting in and I will update this article if I think of anything else pops into my head. SOLIDARITY!