Thanks for spotting this. Going to forward along to our media, internet, and press teams.
PR TeamOccupy Wall Street: www.occupywallst.org
On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM, chris de ville <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm an OWS supporter and frequent 99% demonstration participant. I am very concerned that by (accidentally?) mis-reporting about the arrests in the Citibank this past Saturday that we are doing great harm to our cause.
Occupywallst.org reports that people were arrested "while attempting to withdraw their accounts". This suggests that they were arrested for trying to close their accounts, when in fact they were arrested for a mildly disruptive act if civil disobedience (disrupting business by commanding the attention of the bank employees and customers and making long impassioned speeches). Watch the video here:
I have been arguing our cause to many, many fence-sitters, and have seen first-hand how this kind of misrepresentation alienates those would-be supporters. Two of my friends contacted me after seeing this video (which only shows a woman being wrongfully arrested outside the Citibank):
Since occupywallst.org was echoing the same sentiment (that non-disruptive protesters were being arrested for closing their accounts), I believed your reporting and explained to my friends that yes, indeed, this is what happened. Later on, after further research I found that other video, the one shot inside the bank, and I realized that the protesters were arrested for other reasons. (Whether those reasons are right or wrong is not relevant here; the issue at hand is the accuracy of our reporting). I contacted my friends, apologized for the error and for accidentally misleading them.
Imagine this quite likely scenario: A right-wing Fox News program shows occupywallst.org's claim that the protesters were arrested "while trying to close their accounts" and then they follow it up with clips of the civil-disobedience occurring inside the bank. They'd call us out as liars, and they'd be right. How many millions if fence sitting viewers would start to see us as no better than any other spinning, misrepresenting media outlet?
The good thing is that the fix us EASY and TOTALLY EFFECTIVE. Simply post a one-line correction on occupywallst.org. If we do it before our opponents do (and they surely will) then we are beyond reproach. If we don't make thus correction, and make it fast, we're going to spend a hell of a lot of energy defending ourselves from accusations of being liars: energy much better spent building the movement.
Chris de Ville