Occupy Wall Street – is mass civil disobedience the only way?
3 Oct, 2011 20:48
Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were arrested over the weekend in New York.
But with the mainstream media ignoring or ridiculing the protesters, and politicians turning a blind eye, what other options do they have to get attention to their outrage?Taking the Big Apple by storm, getting arrested by the hundreds, getting netted and pepper-sprayed in the face, spending night and day on the far from welcoming streets of New York’s Financial District. That’s the price the demonstrators have been paying to get their outrage across to those holding reins of financial and political power. Common Americans that make up most of the country, who have no access to corporate power and the media don’t have many options to get their voices heard. Those who take steps to fight for change in the US, are getting ignored and marginalizing. Hero Vincent – artist and activist – has been arrested twice.“I didn’t expected to be arrested, I didn’t expect to be beat by police, I didn’t expect to get locked up and incarcerated for hours and hours and hours, but I am willing to do that for a good cause and for this movement,” he said. Ignored for the first two weeks of Occupying Wall Street, the peaceful movement started taking tougher measures – by getting bigger and louder.“The only way to get the media to notice is to be disobedient. You have to stir shit up to get people to notice,” said New York chef Jacob Bensluy. The mass arrests have built up popular support for the movement.“I thank them for putting us through some type of abuse, because it’s helping our movement – it’s bringing more and more people out here,” said Hero Vincent. Some have sacrificed more than hours in jail to fight against Wall Street. “Many people have quit their jobs and have come here. That’s already happened,” said protest coordinator Mike Esperson. The corporate media – week 3 into the camp-outs – either does not pay much attention or ridicules both the form and the substance of the gathering. “They’re more concerned with brainwashing people, and American Idol, and sports drama. And pretty much anything to serve as a distraction other than the important issues. Right now, this is something important,” said protester John Reig.Unnoticed by the corporate and political elite, it’s tougher than ever for those against the system to get attention, with even some police officers ready to admit this. “Protest is the way. It’s the only available way to do it, I imagine,” said a police officer named Kevin. The Occupy Wall Street movement promises to grow in the months to come, and history has shown, that the voice of the people can’t be neglected forever."This has the potential to be the embryo of a very broad fight back movement," rapper and activist Marcel Cartier told RT on Monday. Two days earlier, he was among the 700 arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge."My question to the NYPD: did you really think that it was a tactically intelligent decision to arrest 700 people?" asked Cartier. "I think it actually had the opposite effect."Cartier added that after being apprehended, he bonded with his brethren that were among those arrested. "We turned those jails into centers of organizing," said Cartier. "It was definitely a very energizing experience – it charged me up.""It made me more committed to the cause and now I really want to see this moment succeed," he added. "It gives me so much energy, so much vision to go further."