Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Are We Protesting Again?

As the Occupy Wall Street protesters finish their first month of protests, they seem more confused and disorganized than ever. It is not clear exactly what they are protesting other than big banks and high unemployment. One protester on the Twitter #OccupyPhoenix channel asked a few days ago, “What are we protesting again?” The Occupy Phoenix protest was organized by three teenagers. Fox News interviewed several protesters who could not explain why they were at the rallies. To many observers, the protests appear to be mindless babble on Twitter and Facebook coming from hippies looking for sex, drugs and rock and roll. However, the organizers behind the scenes are communists and socialists with a far-reaching agenda, and are nothing like the Tea Parties.
Even some on the left are embarrassed by the aimlessness of the protesters. Liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof took pity on them and suggested some demands they should make, explaining, “Where the movement falters is in its demands: It doesn't really have any.” On October 9, 20 days into the protests, some activists finally latched onto a video on YouTube declaring that it explained what they were protesting.
Many of the protesters seem more like they are attending Woodstock than a political protest, hanging out playing guitar, singing, having sex in public, smoking and getting high. One Washington Post reporter was offered marijuana for $15 and heroin for $10. Glenn Beck described the scene at Wall Street after the protesters had camped out for a month, “Zuccotti Park smells now like an open sewer with people urinating and defecating in public.” Many tweets were as incoherent as this one, which was retweeted repeatedly, "If everyone goes home in NY when it gets cold at #occupywallst and no one lays down their life, that sh** is uberwack."
The other faction of protesters consists of wealthy students with trust funds, who are actually part of the 1 percent being protested. The UK Daily Mail exposed them, printing photos of well-dressed students carrying iPhones and laptops and wearing $300 designer jeans. There is some irony to working class minority police officers arresting youth who are likely trust fund kids who do not need to work.
It doesn’t help that the protests are based on a false premise. The theme is “We are the 99 percent,” meaning the protesters resent the 1 percent wealthiest Americans and claim to represent the rest of the 99 percent of the population. This is inaccurate. 99 percent of the population does not support the radical protesters and their goals. By falsely claiming to represent everyone, they are turning off most Americans.
The protesters are not the equivalent of the Tea Party on the left. They are much more radical. The Tea Party represents folks generally fed up with government spending, which is fairly mainstream. In contrast, communists and socialists are behind the Occupy protests. The symbol of the Occupy protests is the socialist emblem of a hand in a fist. A speaker at the Occupy Oakland protest denounced capitalism and said it needs to be replaced by a revolution of communism and socialism. A protester tweeted that the Constitution must be replaced. Another speaker demanded an increase in the minimum wage to $20/hr and others called for free college tuition. The protesters resent the rich, and want to take their money and redistribute it. A hippy protester at the Occupy San Francisco protest strummed on his guitar singing, “We got to have 100 percent.”

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