Occupy Wall Street Analysis: The Revolution is Indeed Televised
Protestors look to TV reporters to document the "truth", but police have their own take on it
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/17/2011 3:13:27 PM
Just about everyone was on camera when the police clashed with Occupy Wall Street protestors at Zuccotti Park Thursday afternoon.
Marking the movement's two month anniversary, protestors planned a "Day of Action" for Thursday, with marches on Wall Street Thursday morning, which saw around 75 arrested, and visits to 16 subway stations around the city, where the protestors vowed to bring their grievances about the distribution of wealth directly to the people of New York City.
The eastern edge, along Broadway, was more subdued, the rain, cold and court-mandated sleepless nights apparently sapping the protestors' enthusiasm. A man barked out the principles of Noam Chomsky, a wrecked voice forced through a rolled up OWS-99% placard.
Police, some in riot helmets, clubs in hand, encircled the park. There were thousands, vastly outnumbering the protestors.
The news trucks occupied the southern edge of the park: WNBC, WABC, CNN, Univision and New York 1. Down Broadway a few blocks was a fleet of WCBS vehicles. In between the two makeshift news camps was a white truck with Wiki Leaks emblazoned on it, and a curious crowd around it.
I saw no reporters doing standups while I was there; either they were grabbing lunch or warming up in the back of the van. The park was relatively quiet, and there wasn't much to report. At least for the next few minutes.
At 1:25, the protestors appeared to mobilize, several dozen of them following a leader. The drums picked up their pace. The chanting got louder, and neared a frenzy. You could feel the excitement level spike.
The police soon followed, marching into the park at a steady, methodical pace. As they entered Zuccotti, one protestor held a sign thanking the police for their protection, and noting how that had not been in the case throughout the Arab Spring.
People whipped out their smartphones.
At 1:40, violence erupted. Once in the park, the police attempted to evacuate it from the middle. Some protestors went without a fight, while others did not. A woman with a WABC flag looked for the best angle. A woman from CNN did the same. One had to think twice about crossing the street and getting much closer to the park, as the police may not have differentiated from protestors and reporters in the heat of the melee.
"Shame! Shame!" chanted the protestors at the cops. "Fascists!" hollered others.
While some local reporters have mentioned the ill will they've gotten from a small minority of protestors, including purposely blocked camera shots, pit bull bites, and one New York journo, WNYW's John Huddy, who a crazed protestor threatened to stab, backpedaling protestors suddenly looked to the reporters as allies.
"Get the truth on camera!" one irate man screamed at a WABC photographer as he retreated from the police foray.
A second protestor had a similar thought a few minutes later, staring up at the photog atop the WABC van. "You getting this?" he hollered in a frenzy. "You're getting this, right?"
In fact, the police were recording this tiny slice of American history as well. At one point, as I looked out to where perhaps 20 police pushed protestors through a barricade and out of the southern edge of the park, I saw five NYPD personnel with miniature video cameras of their own, carefully shooting the protestors.
As the melee went on for about eight minutes, cameras were everywhere. iPhones and Blackberrys and digital cameras, shooting stills and video, to be cued up for social media distribution.
Everyone's a reporter and a director and a star in the show.
The occupied wallstreet movement is much larger than I think anyone realizes just yet. The reason it apears to not have any one focus is that our greivances go all the way down to the core structure of the "civilized world". Corruption is rampant in every country on this Earth and at the center are the central banking systems, in our case it is the Federal Reserve. What we are witnessing is the begining of the Revolution. Not just here, but world wide revolution. You see, it began with the Arab Spring and has spread to Greace, Italy, France, and the USA. All of us average people are finally standing up and saying "We can do better!". It is high time that the governments and corporations of the world remember that they can have no power unless we grant it to them. Their Power is the Power of the People and We are taking it back. I encourage everyone interested in this movement to read the Declaration of Independence and Non-Violent Resistance by M. K. Gandhi. It will help to bring focused intent to the movement. Long days and pleasent nights.
Heather DeLadurantaye - 11/18/2011 2:24:44 PM EST
It may be a tough sell-
WELL LETS FACE IT - NOBODY DID THE FULLEWINSKY ON OWS MORE THAN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA (AND YOU)
fact is if tea party people sh*t on the sidewalks and did what your crews did - they would have had a cow.
But the precious little losers here have been given fully sway but you media people but the truth will out.
What a joke the media is - that's the illustration
Gene Wiley - 11/18/2011 8:37:07 AM EST
I’ve never understood this story. And I’ve never seen the media look like lemmings for an idea whose premise is all over the place. Just look at the “signs” held up by protesters.
As USA Today put it in an editorial this week: "Occupation is a tactic in search of a goal.”
Go home and get organized. I’d rather see a story of value get the lead than a bunch of confused souls looking for friendship.
Mickey McMahon - 11/18/2011 8:25:24 AM EST
Barney Rubble - 11/18/2011 5:34:20 AM EST
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