I have seen so many arguments about what the #OWS movement is and isn’t. And most come from the mindset that #OccupyWallSt must follow one “party line” or another, that they represent the left, or that they are being funded by liberals. In some cases, folks on the extreme right have also tried to co-opt the movement to try to change their focus, move them away from protesting Wall St.’s actions and focus on the Fed.
The fact of the matter is, when the #OWS and #OccupyTogether groups talk about the 99%, by definition they are not talking about just one group or another. I had a friend tell me that they did not represent him because he does not agree with some of their tactics or some of their supporters. But when pressed, he says he agrees with their complaints. He just doesn’t like who’s complaining.
This is not about politics as usual. In fact, what the 99% represents is the fact that the political system has been corrupted by the undue influence of corporate money. And that 1% of the income earners are able to have their way with the system, while 99% have no say. This isn’t a right of left issue. The vast majority of Americans agree that the system is broken.
You may not agree with all the ideas for fixing the system, but then again, if the majority agree the system is broken, perhaps we should start having conversations about how to fix it.
The media and corporations don’t know how to deal with something that is apoltical, that doesn’t fit neatly into the left/right, liberal/conservative battlefield. The media can’t figure out how to make the story, and the corporations don’t know how to use the media spin to look good. So instead, they fall back upon tried and tested methods of insulting, denigrating and ignoring the protesters. But they can’t just paint them as liberals – there are conservatives worried about the same issue.
At some point, enough people will be joining in the protest, taking action to make that protest effective in provoking change (like moving your banking to local institutions) that real change will begin. Until then, the media and big business will continue to try to describe this as a battle between the left and the right. Don’t fall for it.
And yes, I did create a T-shirt for this, if you are so inclined : Click here