Thursday, October 6, 2011

It Keeps On Growing

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is taking root in other places besides Lower Manhattan, and it’s getting the attention of the corporate media, who, like anyone who is unsure what to make of something that is alien to them (i.e. not put together by a coordinated effort on behalf of sponsors and and a business model), are mocking it.

(Click to embiggen.)

The sign, taken at the Chicago Board of Trade, says “WE ARE THE 1%”. That means they’re paying attention.

OWS has something going for it that the Tea Party doesn’t: a sense of optimism and cheerfulness. The takeaway from these marches, even when they’re confronted by police using pepper spray, is that they are peaceful and even entertaining. I’m reminded of many of the anti-war demonstrations I participated in forty years ago. Yes, we were serious about ending the war in Vietnam, but we were also hopeful for a better world, and even if the topic was serious, we had a good time and made friends. The Tea Partiers are cranky and dyspeptic, fueled by dislike and despair. My experience is that you have a better chance of getting what you want through hope rather than hate.

For continuing updates, Melissa and my colleagues at Shakesville have been keeping up with the story. Check it out there.