Oppressive violence is inherent to the system. Yes, making the protests seem more dangerous or more violent than they are is to be avoided, but the fact of the matter is, the poor and people of color face violence on a very regular basis-in the form of stop and frisks, meritless arrests, and general racist/classist police brutality. The GA is made of the 99%, but it is also made predominantly of white young people. I am one myself. The poor and minority populations of the United States (and the rest of the world) face almost daily forms of violence: not just from the police, but also from economic oppression, homelessness, judicial bias, and profound psychological exclusion. These people can relate to the violence that is levied against protesters, and videos of police repression, rather than 'riot porn' pointed at radicals, are as much for the people who face this sort of institutionalized violence every day of their lives.
Part of the function of protest is, in fact, to reveal the inherent violence of state institutions- that when things get bad, 'democracy' is maintained at the end of a policeman's baton, not the bottom of a ballot box. Do not be afraid to publicize and discuss police violence against protesters. Overemphasizing it would be silly, because of course the violence faced so far by protesters pales in comparison to that faced by most of the downtrodden in our society (think of Troy Davis).
I have attached a documentary here, which I think is crucial watching, that gives a different perspective on the London Riots- that gives the context and history of police repression in Totenham and other Black North London neighborhoods, how police incited the riots by beating a teenage girl, how they then ignored and allowed the violence to get out of hand, how the people in the streets practiced political consciousness in their actions, and how all of this has been manipulated by the mainstream media.
Being angry about their lack of coverage is a first step, but we must recognize how media narratives, not events on the ground, made the London Riots (and all other violent actions by the people) appear completely chaotic and a-political. I do not mean to advocate rioting, only to point out that the media always misrepresents violence, and that the only way to overcome state violence is by confronting it.
On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 2:23 PM, Harrison Schultz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please pardon the tone of my criticism, I'll do my best to keep it constructive and respectful now that I know that my point has been heard and is being discussed... which I appreciate. And please don't get me wrong Micah, I've been reading this magazine since I was a kid in high school, I've learned a lot from your publication and I have a lot of respect for Adbusters, its a big part of what inspired me to work in advertising despite the fact that I've always felt that it's evil due to my radical beliefs.
Moreover I personally love the "scarier" stuff, such the rioters in gas masks behind the Bull and Ballerina, and the hooded masked rock thrower above the "Dreaming of Democracy" two page spread near the end of the latest issue #97. The startling photo of a landless indigenous peasant with her naked little girl getting shoved over by police with shields and clubs was moving as well, but in a different way since it shows the violence being perpetrated by the authorities as opposed to protesters. It gets me fired up and makes me want to work, however it's been occurring to me more and more that it turns off non-radicals. My professional opinion is that images which could be perceived as violent won't make people who would rather ignore social injustice want show up to Liberty Plaza. Grim's report on the responses to that article on occupywallst.org
confirmed that for me...
The scary arrest video's in question was posted on September 21st around 3pm. occupywallst.org
had a record high 70,246 visits that day, the previous high was 56,356 on the 17th of September - which is good news, so I think it's fair to conclude that the violent imagery has some utility. However I also noticed that the site's "bounce rate" (people clicking and bouncing immediately off the landing page) went up a bit to 81.56%, the average amount of time spent on the site for that day went down a bit 1:38. The bounce rate for the day before was at 76.79% with an average of 2:00 minutes spent on the site. The average bounce rate for the month has been at 75.19% None of these changes from the 20th to the 21st are statistically significant however the bounce rate on this site, which has always been pretty high at about 75%, still suggests to me that the radical left of this country might be overdue for a re-brand.
I'm still interested in knowing what you thought of rad/left's suggestion of a Renaissance on Wall Street and I'm still interested in knowing if there's any way I can use any of the skillz I've acquired from the adversary to assist you and your staff.
At your disposal and in solidarity,
Harrison Tesoura Schultz
On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 3:54 PM, Micah White <email@example.com>
Harrison, I don't understand: there is no "riot porn" on Adbusters, and the scary video that grimwomyn is talking about is on the frontpage of your site: occupywallst.org
Email me off list if you have any comments about anything on adbusters.org
-- however, let's be respectful of the different perspectives that each of us is bringing to this occupation.
On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM, Harrison Schultz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I hope we can get this to Micah White and the AdBusters staff's attention, I wrote them a really scathing email about all this back in the quite old days of Saturday GA bickering sessions, maybe now he'll take this more seriously,
Rad/left through out the phrase the "Renaissance of Wall Street" which I think sums this up. I think this is the right direction for our demand/message to move in.
On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 7:22 AM, grimwomyn <email@example.com>
Just seconding the thought about watching out for "riot porn." I wrote to a journalist from WIRED on Twitter inviting him to spend the night in the park and his response is as follows:
@grimwomyn The second post down makes that seem pretty scary. I hope everyone is (and stays) okay."
Support, but fear of coming to the park. :(