Nobody’s listening to me. Presidential candidate Buddy Roemer won’t heed my advice to stage a fight with Occupy Wall Street protesters. And the local Occupy Nola movement refuses to focus their message, as I suggested. As The Lens’s Matt Davis reported:
[Occupy Nola] protesters meet as a general assembly twice a day to hone their message, which has not narrowed significantly in the past week.
Massage therapist Asher Strunk and unemployed transient Stephanie Visco watched as protesters lined up for dinner. They said they thought the media was looking for a clearer set of reasons behind the protest, but that the breadth of the movement defied such narrow understanding.
In order to increase my narrow understanding of the movement’s breadth, I’ve asked The Lens to send me to Hawaii to cover the Occupy Honolulu protest. Fingers firmly crossed.
In an interview with The Awl website, Sam Brody, a grad student active in the OWS, tries to explain the movement. He says OWS is mainly about “creating a space” for conversation. (Insert eye roll.) Yet, in the next breath Brody cites a query posed by ABC news reporter Jake Tapper to President Obama as one of the movement’s accomplishments:
Anything like [the OWS protest] always has 500 million different goals and other things that it’s going to accomplish without even intending to accomplish them. So for example, one thing that I thought when I saw a reporter ask the President a question about Occupy Wall Street, and he used it as a chance to try to, he tried to say he agreed with the protesters, even though the reporter had framed the question as like, clearly they think you haven’t done enough and are part of the problem, like, just the fact that that interchange took place.
It’s a flippin’ miracle that that interchange took place! It’s a miracle that Tapper asked the question in that way, and helpfully directed the protest movement towards a clearer objective! In my earlier column, I was glad to identify that press conference moment as a valuable signpost for OWS. I hoped they’d use it to formulate an achievable objective, rather than wait and see what random, unexpected political fallout results from their occupation.
But perhaps my “narrow understanding” of the spacious OWS “conversation” hinders my awareness of the totality of their movement’s potentiality. Or something.
To be fair, OccupyNOLA is meeting regularly and making plans. The group announced that they will march each day at noon from their encampment across from City Hall to the Federal Reserve bank at Poydras and St. Charles Avenue. Also, they will hold a “big event” each Saturday beginning at 2pm. For Halloween they’re planning a “big extravaganza… possibly a Corporate Zombie Walk.”
That last idea is pretty creative, and I hope to see more like it.