One week ago, Oakland authorities – citing safety hazards from an “Occupy” encampment – unleashed a predawn police raid to drive the protesters from a plaza. City officials called the action necessary, but a local security guard emerged to tell Dennis Bernstein a very different story.
The response to Occupy Wall Street is personal for many participants and visitors alike. For historian William Loren Katz, the iconic protest in Lower Manhattan was a reminder of Depression-era “Hoovervilles” — but with a youthful optimism.
The Right got what it wanted when Bay Area police stormed the Occupy Oakland encampment touching off clashes that left one protester, Iraq War vet Scott Olsen, in critical condition. Filmmaker Michael Moore discussed the protests with Davey D and Dennis Bernstein.
The mainstream news media still seems baffled by the Occupy protests, wanting them to spell out specific demands – mostly likely, so experts and pundits can then tear the ideas down. So far, the protesters are getting their message across through their simple presence, Danny Schechter reports.
Many Americans are accustomed to the top one percent on the economic pyramid getting the bulk of the benefits from society’s work and investments, as if that’s the natural order of things. But a new movie “In Time” presents a similar dilemma in a parallel reality, writes Lisa Pease.
With a few exceptions, the initial reception of the “Occupy” movement across America was fairly benign. But authorities in Oakland and elsewhere are now turning aggressive, sending in police to shut down encampments and disperse protesters, as Phil Rockstroh observes.
As the “Occupy” movement spreads to scores of American cites, some encampments are encountering challenges, from sanitation woes to chilly weather to hostility from local authorities. But the occupation in Philadelphia appears determined to persevere, as photo-journalist Ted Lieverman reports.
The Christian Right talks about applying Biblical tenets to political issues, but ignores the most central of Jesus’s teachings – standing with the poor, opposing financial elites and abhoring violence. The Vatican has now issued a reminder of those principles, as Daniel C. Maguire notes.
Like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, the French Revolution began as a rejection of an unjust system where the few were obscenely rich and the many had little money or power. Where it went off-track was in its embrace of violence, a lesson today’s revolutionaries must heed, says Gary G. Kohls.
Journalism should be about the new and unexpected, but most journalists really prefer the routine and expected, so their days go easier. And they shy away from questioning the status quo. All of which makes Occupy Wall Street (OWS) a nuisance to the mainstream media (MSM), says Danny Schechter.