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02 November 2011 @ 10:50 pm
Spread the word.  
I just got the news about what happened to #OccupyPortland protesters - in the city I am currently in - last night by watching video footage on Al Jazeera. I had to get news about #OccupyOakland's general strike which shut down the fifth largest port in the country and a good chunk of their entire city on Twitter. #ActualFirstWorldProblems

The headline news story reported locally? Two elementary-school kids got their Halloween candy stolen by teenagers.

The major news story reported nationally? Lindsay Lohan gets sentenced to jail for the fifth time.

I happen to strongly agree with the message of the Occupy movement and their methods, but the thing is - if this were a Tea Party movement, if these were different Americans wearing different outfits assembling and chanting things I don't agree with, I WOULD STILL WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT. I would still be horrified at the footage of largely peaceful protesters being tear-gassed and shot at with rubber bullets again and again (because they kept returning to hold the line). I would want to get angry. I would want to get scared. I would want to have real information about what's happening so I could form educated opinions about it. I wouldn't want to think Oakland is some far-flung island nation and that sort of thing could never happen here when it is, actually, happening here.

Remember when Donald Trump was pretending to run for President, and all the networks would not shut up about it, and so suddenly the poll numbers showed that America was practically demanding that TRUMP be emblazoned on the white house? And then some actual news happened, so they stopped talking about him and within a week he was barely on the polls at all? If we hear about something, if we see a lot of people whose names and faces and logos we recognize talking about something like it's important, it gives it legitimacy. They know that. They seem to be hoping the reverse is true too - they can ignore it out of existence.

I don't know who "they" is. I don't know who's making the decision to pretend that Occupy Wall Street isn't as popular as it is, as resilient as it is, as well-organized as it is while being run by consensus. But look, you don't have to know who tripped the breaker to notice the blackout.

Occupy - a movement without a charismatic and media-friendly leader with a PR squad - has just shut down the fifth largest port in the country. Last week, police in riot gear used flash-bangs, tear-gas and rubber bullets to stop a peaceful Occupy Oakland march that happened to be led by Oakland public school teachers (edit: I got confused - the teachers leading the march with giant awesome banners was the day after, when they retook the plaza, but check out some awesome photos and on-the-ground reporting here). A veteran Marine is in a coma. I know it's no Kardashian divorce or anything, but at what point does this become news?

Just because the media isn't reporting on it doesn't mean it's not important. It doesn't mean it will go away. Ask questions. Talk to people. If your city is occupied, go check out the camp. Read the posters. Search their twitter hashtags for news, reasonable arguments on both sides, and plenty of trolls. Consider the sources, but go looking, because the news is not going to come to you.

ETA: Pretty.
a universal sigh: HP - Harry - omg u guise!!naushika on November 3rd, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
All the mainstream media outlets are joined at the hip with major corporations - and banks. That's why we don't hear anything about it.

I'm so glad to see this post. The occupy protesters have my 100% support and I fully believe in what they're doing. I'm glad the message can at least get out through the internet at least.

I wanted to go to my local occupy protest but.. I must admit to being a bit of a wuss because I was seriously afraid of action from our local police, which, here in Phoenix, are pretty much all assholes. The sheriff bought a tank for the police force. Not sure why nobody else doesn't think that is as insane as it is.

Anyway I love Al Jazeera news. BTW I dunno if you have a smartphone but Al Jazeera has a free app that streams news. I love it.
Little Red: trek - ani destroy - rightoniconsmylittleredgirl on November 3rd, 2011 06:09 am (UTC)
Good to know about Al Jazeera!

Portland is like the Carebears version of the Occupy protest, even though we have apparently 1,500 people permanently camped outside the courthouse. The mayor and chief of police came out early on supporting them, they even let them smoke medical marijuana in specific tents, and whenever I go there on lunch to check it out there are always protesters discussing things with curious businesspeople in suits and uniformed police officers and it's all very chill and flower-children and "peace, man, come hang out in our art tent!" In general, Portland and Phoenix are very opposite in the way they do a lot of things.

That being said - go down there when there's no specific protest planned so there's no reason for any police action. I was scared to check it out too because I thought the camp was like "don't come in unless you are ONE OF US!" but it's not like that. #OccupyBoston is one of the more heated situations, and my friend in_parentheses stops by there after work to wash dishes and stuff. Seriously, go check it out! :)
LJljs_lj on November 3rd, 2011 06:57 am (UTC)
It's good to hear good things about PDX! I'm overseas and getting most of my news from ontd_political, so it's mostly "OMG PROTESTERS GOT PEPPERSPRAYED/RUBBER BULLETS/BEAT UP/ETC AGAIN TODAY!", which is important news that people should be outraged about, BUT knowing that folks are being civil elsewhere is very, very important too!
Little Red: oregon trailmylittleredgirl on November 3rd, 2011 07:03 am (UTC)
Tuesday night the police broke up a camp in one of the parks (not the main one) and arrested 9 people. Some people were arrested about a week after the protest started because they refused to reopen a road - and the majority of Occupy Portland was like "um, let them have the road, they're being cool about us camping in the parks indefinitely" and so no one was full of rage about those people getting arrested. It's remarkably civil and mutually supportive. When the revolution begins, it will not begin in Portland.

I'm really curious about what happened with the solidarity march they planned to have today - it hadn't started by the time I left downtown at 5... but, you know, I can't find it on the news, so I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

I also met the head of the Oregon Tea Party when I went to visit Occupy Portland a few weeks ago. He had a cameraman with him and asked me to talk about my experience, and I was like "Well, I just got here 30 seconds ago, so no real experience yet."
Little Red: trek - kirk risk - positronikamylittleredgirl on November 3rd, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
Latest Portland news - people are unhappy because Portland police put the mug shots of those arrested at the raid on Tuesday up on facebook, and some of them are minors. Police responded saying that it's their standard procedure in cases involving heightened public interest and it all seems relatively civil and chill.

Less civil and chill - I was reading on twitter that during last night's march some protesters may have pushed a police officer into traffic (I haven't seen any report of injury). Basically, it's got to suck to be a cop right now, but it seems that the Portland police are showing a lot of restraint and individual officers are pretty committed to not escalating this... fingers crossed.
Samin_parentheses on November 5th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
Hi! I did wash dishes at OccupyBoston once, largely because it was a good excuse to check out the camp. They want everyone to be "one of us," and the easiest way is to show up and say, "Hey, what can I do to help?" I definitely second the encouragement to check it out, but do so on a normal non-protesting day.

While perhaps not as Carebears as Portland, I wouldn't necessarily describe Boston as "heated" most of the time. The cops have mostly been fine, as has the mayor. I don't know of any major threats to the main camp here. It's a pretty liberal town.
Fi: spbufferkategroundmuldy on November 3rd, 2011 06:54 am (UTC)
The thing that absolutely fascinates me about Occupy[insertplacehere] is the lack of media reporting of it in the US. The fact no one really knew about it for days.

It's reported here, the OccupyMelbourne anyway, so the fact that in the US it's not being reported is actually rather scary, because that means that it is being blocked somewhere...
Little Red: trek - ani happyface - rightoniconsmylittleredgirl on November 3rd, 2011 07:08 am (UTC)
NO ONE KNOWS. And when I tell them, people don't believe me, because they're like "Oh, is that still going on?" I mean, I never thought that the free press was totally free, but I had faith that they would want dramatic footage and ratings and exclusives and stuff that they would get with the tear-gassing at least. The fact that they're not taking advantage of that and preying on people's fears for ratings and instead are just whiting this out? Scares the crap out of me.
Samin_parentheses on November 5th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
SERIOUSLY?? People don't even know it's still going on? This is definitely one of those times (...my whole life is one of those times) when I do not live in the same world as the rest of this country.
LJljs_lj on November 3rd, 2011 07:00 am (UTC)
I can't get twitter to show me the "Pretty" picture. Do you have a link to it elsewhere?
Little Red: more artmylittleredgirl on November 3rd, 2011 07:05 am (UTC)
I have occupied the bandwidth:

miera_cmiera_c on November 3rd, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
The Marine, Scott Olsen, is actually out of the coma and doing well. He suffered from some speech impairment but he could communicate and was facing surgery. I've read some stories indicating his family could be facing major hospital bills, though. If there's any kind of concerted fundraiser for that I'll let you know.

The thing that made me cry hardest was the reaction of other Marines and vets to what happened to Olsen. Brigades of vets and active servicemembers on leave formed spontaneously and came to occupy protests, including the NYC one, to protect the protesters. And also this:

Two of the progressive blogs I follow have been posting daily news roundups about the Occupy movement:

You can't get news from the news channels. MSNBC is owned by Universal, CNN is owned by Time Warner and Fox is, well, Fox. These large corporations have close ties to the banks in a lot of cases, and the people running these companies are the 1%. From their perch, everything is fine and the riff raff just need to work harder. The richest people own the corporations that own the media. They're going to ensure that the status quo gets upheld. Of course, they're all shitting in their pants because the status quo has become untenable and the rabble at the bottom of the food chain isn't being easily distracted by shiny objects anymore. When their media baubles can't divert our attention enough that's when things start to get ugly.
Little Red: rh - hot air balloonmylittleredgirl on November 3rd, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
OMG. I saw that about the Marines and other servicemembers doing that in NYC, and I'm sure it's happening elsewhere. It's making me well up a little just thinking about it.

I've actually stumbled upon a few really right-wing sites (and associated troll commenters with rather graphic violent fantasies) and am enjoying reading the hatred that's getting spewed on twitter. Whenever I read one of those things, it makes me immediately feel like "wow, these protesters are doing a really good thing." And getting people angry, no matter on which side, is letting more people know that this protest is happening.

And the medical bills... just... it's so awful what happened to him, but if that's true, he will become the poster child of this movement in more ways than one. A veteran Marine who doesn't have good health insurance? We know that happens, but there are so many people who don't.
Human Collaborator Flunkie Pool!fic Musejoyfulfeather on November 3rd, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
Really damn well said. Can I share this post?

I'm following OccupyWallStNYC and OccupyHouston on twitter. That seems to be the best souce of information about the whole thing. I want to do something to support the movement, but I have a fear of cities so I don't like going downtown. But I think it's amazing to see that people are standing up and saying, we're not taking this. I want this to get even bigger. The media needs to figure out that this is for real. Yes, a lot of the people are hippies of various ilk, but that doesn't mean it's a bunch of irrational slackers. There are a *lot* of people unhappy with the way things are right now. I hope some kind of change comes of this in the end.
Little Red: trek - screammylittleredgirl on November 3rd, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, you can share it! The more eyes we can get on this stuff the better. For or against, we just need people talking about it. Check out Miera's links above for people who've researched this stuff far better than I have, too!
Samin_parentheses on November 5th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
This morning on NPR they played Mitt Romney talking about "the 99%" and "the 1%." You guys, we have fucking shaped the language of the debate. Seriously, I don't remember the last time anyone I agreed with did that. I was very sniffly at 6 a.m.