|Sent time:||Sunday, September 25, 2011 3:47:45 PM|
|Subject:||Re: Re: [september17discuss] dangers of not having a clear message, NY Times article Sept 24, Metropolitan section, pg 1|
Here is a letter I sent to the NYtimes as soon as i read their article:To the editor: I have been reading your newspaper loyaly for over thirty years. I have written many letters and had some published, but this one is aimed directly at you. I have been helping to organize Occupy Wall St for months on the ground and online. I am a New York City School teacher with degrees in (capitalist) economics and political science. The 100 to 2,000 people on the ground at Liberty square at any moment are only the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of people all over the world supporting us in any way they can. Many of us have one or two jobs, or are searching for work, and/or go to school and cannot be there all of the time. We occupy wall st because we can see that transnational banks and other corporations that have no loyalty to people or countries (because their bylaws say they cannot) are using the government to game the system and manipulate markets so that they can gather all of the world's wealth under their control.The New York Times reacts by ignoring us, then fixating on a girl who took her off her shirt and a guy who wants the world to switch to electric cars and demeaning us a "diffuse convocation." Did you bother to visit our media center where we run websites, twitter accounts, a live feed, etc. Did you notice the constant supply of food supplied by the food committee, or the comfort comittee that helps people stay warm at night, or the welcoming comittee with their tables and info?You wonder why there are not large numbers of poor New Yorkers there, but fail to mention that the mainstream media has largely ignored us for more than a week. You mention that we are leaderless but seem unaware that we have a democratic system that uses facilitators to run meetings at which we set an agenda, have orderly discussions, and reach consensus on dozens of issues. These meetings have been ongoing since Bloombergville which you also largely ignored. The process is not as fast as having representatives make backroom deals, but once concensus is reached things get done.We are presently in a painstaking process of finding consensus on a message that we think a majority of the country and the world can get behind, so that most of the 99% can come together and take our planet back from the transnational superclass. Fighting corporations that are larger than most countries is not a one day action. We are in it for the long haul. We are people with memory and vision.If the Tea Party camped out in lower Manhattan it would get wall to wall coverage, and an above the fold article in your paper. I expect the paper of record to do more than make fun of me and my colleagues. I feel betrayed by a paper I loved.-I'm not sure why i am sending this to the list serve except that i write best when I'm pissed.On 09/25/11, Doug Singsen<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Andy Warhol was a great artist, but he is not necessarily the best guide to political strategy. He saw fame as an end in itself, which is not what we are trying to achieve here, so I think that his perspective is actually not something we want to follow. Many people may see the Times article and not look for any further information because of what they read there.
On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 7:49 AM, grimwomyn <email@example.com> wrote:
Absolutely- but remember that Andy Warhol said of press coverage, don't read what they write about you, but measure it in inches. The actual information is a google away for people who are supportive. I am so happy with all the coverage, negative or not, pieces of our motives are getting out there. Well done everyone.
On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 9:41 AM, Jackie DiSalvo <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
The NY Times, which had previously published mainly a large picture of women dancing bare breasted, now printed a Sunday article by Gina Bellafante which trivializes our movement. One problem with not having demands (or goals? messages?) or spokespersons is that journalists who want to put down our movement and discourage people from joining will get away with quoting only people who make us look unserious. (There is another Times article by Colin Moynihan almost entirely about the arrests which, however, does sum up the purpose of Occupy Wall Street in 1 sentence which says we are against “a financial system that participants say favors the rich and powerful over ordinary citizens.”)
I know the bourgeois media will always attack us, but are we doing enough to inhibit their distortions?
Here she quotes a “half naked” woman dancing on Bway who is said to be time traveling back to 1968 and says “I’ve been waiting for this all my life,” but the context makes dubious what she’s been waiting for; someone else says she just came “to create spectacles,” another wants “to get rid of the combustion engine (not a bad idea, but hardly our critique of the domination by the 1%); another is a right wing supporter of Milton Friedman and Ron Paul who just wants “to get rid of the Federal Reserve.” Similarly the only sign quoted says “Even if the world were to end tomorrow, I’d still plant a tree” and in this context underlines its unconcern for real political change (“clamoring for nothing in particular to happen,”), not its positive commitment.
With only such messages as evidence, she gets away with implying that we are ignorant about the economy, and mocks our having no demands and our “wish to pantomime progressivism rather than practice it knowledgably.”
We need to make incontestably clear what our message is.
From: email@example.com On Behalf Of Winter Siroco
“ Five demands from the NYCGA: how to link the struggle for democracy to the struggle for social and economic justice”
After a lot of talking and consulting some of us agree with 4 points that everybody may endorse. Of course, everybody should seriously think about specific strategies to accomplish these goals.
Our goals are:
· Making the banks, corporations, and the rich pay,
· Creating a real participatory democracy,
· Ending the oppression of all marginalized groups, and
· Promoting peace, solidarity, and economic justice.
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