1. The Occupy Movement blames everything on Wall Street. This is false for many reasons. First, there are many culprits in the economic crisis and corporate takeover of government, including the government itself. We understand that. Wall Street is a symbol of excess and corporate dominance of our daily lives, not the only cause. Wall Street is a good rallying point, but if journalists and talking heads would look beyond the surface, they would find more. How about looking at the signs online and stay in your warm offices and you will see signs at Occupy Rallies and elsewhere about many issues.
2. “They have no agenda.” Josh Barro, a “research scholar” at the right-wing think tank the Manhattan Institute has derided Occupy Wall Street (obviously doing little “research”) for not having an agenda.
But as I wrote in a response to this nonsense in his National Review article,
“You talk to one representative and now you are an expert? Have you been to an encampment or event? There are several clear goals that the Occupy Groups have, and if you had bothered to do research and looked at the various declarations of these groups (online, so you don’t even have to visit a camp to learn) you would find goals such as:
Protect homes from unlawful foreclosures
Repeal Citizens United
Single payer health care
Forgive and reduce student debt obligations
Make college more affordable for families
End foreign wars and bring our troops home
Reinvest in education and infrastructure
End indefinite detentions
Repeal the patriot act
End corporate personhood
and so on.
Perhaps the reason you don’t know of these goals is that you are too lazy to look them up and main stream reporters such as yourself refuse to report on them.
If you want to refute what I say, why not have me debate you and your ignorance.”
Perhaps I am being unfair to him and should forgive his inability to understand a movement that doesn’t fit into his “liberal versus conservative paradigm”, a leaderless movement full of capable people, and a movement that has many goals and objectives but isn’t as narrowly focused as Republican Senators are on bringing down Obama and nothing else.
3. They are all unemployed hippies who are aimless but at the same time violent anarchists, and other demographic falsehoods. The population of the Occupy encampments changes from day to day and city to city. I have seen different surveys of the group, but the highest unemployment stat on the movement I have seen is 30%. We are employed, part time workers, unemployed, retired, homeless, rental unit owners, entrepreneurs, students, vets, and so on.
The actual number of hippies in the movement is quite low, and what’s wrong with hippies anyway? Do hippies make right-wingers uncomfortable or jealous that these reporters and pundits chose a life defending the 1% while hippies are free of such nonsense and don’t have to lie and misrepresent facts for living? I know it’s hard for people in the media to understand that there is not one type of person involved with the Occupy movement, and it makes the movement hard to stereotype. But they keep trying.
4. The Occupy Movement is disorganized. This is false. With few resources and no corporate or political party backing, Occupiers have daily and weekly general assembly meetings. We have declarations, clean camps, feed people, make the media contacts available to us (somehow, the Today Show hasn’t called Occupy Tucson), and so forth. We have no central committee, and I know that is hard to understand for inflexible minds reporting news for the 1%.
Yes, we don’t fit the standard non-profit organization, or the Tea Party (paid for by Koch), but if you go to the camps and talk to the organizers, there is a lot of organization for an underfunded, non-aligned, independent organization. People say we are disorganized because they don’t understand our organization and want to marginalize us.
5. Occupy Movements caused their own troubles and the violence. Little of the violence was instigated by the protesters, and at least in LA, much of the violence has occurred to Occupiers after they were in custody. To blame movement activists for being violent when they are attacked is like blaming a rape victim, something Republicans and many others have done. Don’t buy it when someone tells you that being hit by batons, or being pepper sprayed or being hit by rubber bullets is the fault of the occupiers. If the police would let us occupy or surrender in peace, there would be little to no violence.
6. We’re Anti-captilist. Not true. While that may be true for a few, we are all against the rigged system. We are against a system that gives more tax cuts and affords tax loopholes to billionaires and millionaires and increases fees on the lower classes. We are against a system that passes laws to deregulate industries and gives corporate welfare in free rent, under-market prices for mining rights, military projects we don’t need to help contractors profit off of our tax dollars while they target cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, education and other social programs that help the vast majority of the people. We are against the selling off of valuable assets that only benefit the 1% such as the Rosemont Copper mine in Arizona and we are against the selling of our education system for profit while damaging that system.
Many of us own business, promote local enterprises and are for responsible capitalism that doesn’t damage the environment.
Can we ever really understand a movement that is in process, or ever? Only by being at an Occupy rally or meeting can you have the remotest understanding that you will never understand the full implications and people in the movement. We must work for the benefit of 99% forever, whatever the falsehoods told about the Occupy Movement.