Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why the Occupy mask is laughing

Gandhi has been quoted as saying, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." I don't know which of these stages denial belongs to, but The Media is mired in it.

Lately, The Media has had a prolonged field day in which almost every mention of the popular Occupy coalition is in the context of the movement's supposed decline. That is denial at its most extreme. The pop-up press wants us to go away, so they're trying to wish us away. They are so wrong.

The belief that Occupy is dying or even declining is at odds with provable facts. It's true that the Department of Homeland Security's coordinated nationwide campaign to close down Occupy encampments has hurt the movement - but only in cities where Occupiers have chosen to fold like a cheap suit. Everywhere else, Occupy continues to expand as supporters either hold their ground or indulge in other forms of dissent.

That's remarkable because Occupy was so big right from the giddy-up that it's hard to see how it could gain any more support. But Occupy Wall Street's main Facebook page has just swelled to 386,000 fans, and the page's activity is at a record high. In just the past few weeks, Occupy Chicago's NATO protest drew 10,000 participants and Occupy Montreal led demonstrations opposing tuition hikes that attracted an amazing 500,000.

Occupy has almost a Midas touch, succeeding at almost everything it tries. The only times I've personally seen it fail is when its supporters don't try. When I have to beg at general assemblies to get folks interested in something, it's not a good sign. But when people get it, they get it.

With all the support Occupy has, don't you think there's at least one participant somewhere who is determined not to let it die? The Media has deceived themselves by thinking every Occupier out of millions is going to surrender.

The Media also deceived themselves when they thought their steady stream of right-wing hit pieces could kill us - like when they absurdly blamed Occupy for a bridge bombing plot near Cleveland. Occupy was largely immune to this barrage of hostile coverage because almost everybody has family or friends in Occupy. Are people going to believe the press instead of their beloved nephew involved in Occupy?

Occupy is not a popularity contest, but the right-wing media is even in denial about our level of appeal to the rest of the public. Early polls showed a majority of Americans supporting Occupy.

It's hard to say Occupy is near death when its main Facebook page has 400,000 fans and growing, and when even Occupy Campbell County has just launched a new website. I don't bluff. The dinosaur media is fooling themselves if they think we're going away. Remember, media moguls also declared the Civil Rights Movement dead right after it started. They sure got that wrong, didn't they? Also remember that Pathway Family Center acted like they were winning right up until the very end.

In addition to Gandhi's quote, I think the 5 stages of grief might also apply here. Denial is the first, and that's where The Media seems to be stuck. Watch for the 4 remaining stages: anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Someday - maybe someday - they'll accept that Wall Street's day is over.

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