Further to this extended post on the Occupy phenomenon, here’s a brief update on the “movement” that, according to Laurie Penny, “is trying to do something so profoundly new and exciting with politics.”
Occupy Wall Street seems to be spiralling even deeper into farce – and is now a crime-ridden “sliver of madness, a leaderless bazaar,” according to Candice Giove of the New York Post, who stayed overnight and lived to regret it. The Great Utopian Project in Zuccotti Park now has its own “rape-free zones,” which suggests exactly the kind of problem you think it suggests, and, in suitably Orwellian style, some opinion-management issues have apparently arisen. Though at least they don’t yet have a serious hair and body lice problem, as is the case at Occupy Portland.
Occupy Denver has coughed up the usual parade of people with issues, with banners telling us that the “business world needs to be eradicated” and “killing billionaires” is the way forward. Among the more notable participants was Orange Neckerchief Guy – named Frankie Roper – who arrived at the protest wearing painted-on “injuries” and then set about harassing police officers, verbally and physically, in the hope of provoking “brutality” and thus achieving martyrdom. When this initial bid failed, Mr Roper resorted to pushing one passing officer from his motorbike. Roper promptly ran away, being as he is so radical and brave, but was soon wrestled to the ground and arrested by the officer he’d assaulted a few seconds earlier. Naturally, there followed much collective indignation and mutterings of brutality.
Meanwhile, Occupy Eureka brings us the joys of public defecation and dirty protest, and Occupy Boston is apparently “deteriorating” amid crack dealing, drunkenness and fights. Protestors in Boston also found time to “occupy” the Israeli consulate, chanting “Intifada! Intifada!” and further north, Occupy Vancouver can boast its first “confirmed fatality.” At Occupy DC, where violence erupted again, some protestors saw fit to bring small children to use as shields and doorstops, a move that takes radical leftwing parenting to a whole new level. At the same site, protestors harassed female reporters, held a wheelchair-bound woman captive and pushed elderly ladies down concrete steps, all of which obviously signal the last word in radical piety.
Readers may struggle to understand the mindset of people who find it acceptable to jostle and intimidate elderly ladies who are just trying to get home. Just as they may struggle to empathise with people who find it entertaining to trap and intimidate a woman in a wheelchair. I scarcely need to point out that none of the protestors stopped to help either of the elderly women who’d been knocked over. Instead, these titans of tomorrow kept on chanting and feeling righteous about themselves.
Re the videos of violence and physical intimidation linked in the post above, it’s worth noting the following comments by Ace:
The media likes to claim these demonstrations are ‘mostly’ non-violent. But every mob persists because of the implied -- and often express -- threat that violence will ensue if police attempt to disperse them. Before the elderly woman is pushed to the ground for the crime of attending a conference the mob doesn’t support, the mob indulges in a joyous spree of menace and intimidation. They gleefully block a car, driven by a guy with a 2-year-old in the back seat, just trying to get home, because they want to make their physical capacity to harm other people known. They get in the face of a couple with what looks like a four year old and a pre-toddler, to let them know the mob has power over them. They get up into people’s faces with menacing gestures -- hands flashed quickly to people’s faces, a pantomime of violence -- to let them know the mob can hurt them, the moment it wishes to.
The point about “pacifist” protestors implying mob violence should anyone dare to challenge them is illustrated in the update to this.
On a lighter note, Evan Maloney (director of Indoctrinate U) pays a visit to Occupy Wall Street, where he engages the crowd in a multiple-choice quiz to test the protestors’ knowledge of some relevant facts. Prizes for correct answers include Che Guevara rolling papers, which are by far the most popular item, followed closely by the lilac bong.
“Che’s one of my most favourite people. I sometimes go by the name Che.”