Sunday, October 16, 2011

Troubling times

from MediaShift
"Since Adbusters called for a protest on Wall Street in September, a leader-less group calling itself Occupy Wall Street has been camping out in Zucotti Park in downtown New York. The group has been calling itself the 99% of people in America who have no power compared to the top 1%, and their protests have spread beyond New York to more than 100 more' occupied' towns and cities around the country. And today, those protests have spread to 82 countries around the globe, according to organizers. While the mainstream media initially didn't pay much attention to the movement (or only when there were disturbances or arrests), now there's even an Occupied Wall Street Journal newspaper with coverage of the events."

It's turning out be an interesting year, is it not? Today the protests are the headline story on the BBC World Service newscasts. '99:1' is a brilliant, evocative and easily comprehensible meme

I worry that it will prove difficult for the vast majority, the ninety-nine percent, to agree on any single practical and coherent agenda for change. Will it not remain so very much easier for the one percent... experienced in the ways of steering the evolution of our society and economy... to circle they wagons and defend the status quo.

Yes, some of the protesters' signs are touchingly apposite... And the police brutality they are potentially facing on Wall Street and elsewhere is certainly swelling the ranks of those who suddenly recognize themselves as part of the angry and frustrated majority.

In Germany we must surely have a feeling of déja vu. The ideals of those who sympathized with the Red Army Faction, the Baader Meinhof Complex, were in the initial stages of their activism... before blood was shed... not so very different from those of the protesters now four decades later. 

Later, of course, lives were lost.

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