I don’t get political. I don’t know enough. Even if I knew as much as most informed people do, I feel like I still wouldn’t know enough to say anything with any real authority. But I think the Occupy movement deserves at least some comment. While it would help, as with any cause, to know all the facets of the different points the Occupiers are standing for, it seems like you don’t have to know a lot to understand a common point across all the Occupy spots: the cry for decency, the cry for honesty and the cry for the ideals that America has always boasted to be what we strive for, not just used as a mask to keep up the appearance of dignity and high moral standing. Those demands are the things that made me respect journalism and its place in our society, its role in our history. I don’t know a lot about what the different Occupy spots are holding for, but I understand enough to know that it is people standing up for something they believe in, something I believe in, and it makes me want to know more. These people are peaceful, mostly polite and earnest. I want to know more about them.
One thing you hear often with Occupy is “The world is watching.” It’s amazing how true that is. Part of what caught my attention about this movement is how big a role media plays in all of this. This article is a really good example of that. I was told in several journalism classes that you didn’t want to get too heavy with in-text links, so in that respect it’s not the best display of a well written article, but that’s not the reason I’m putting it here (though it’s not a badly written piece). It not only links to “legitimate” sources, but also provides links a lot of social media (youtube, facebook, blog). It opens up with embedded youtube videos of the material announced in the headline. It ends with, “As others have noted, it’s harder to enforce a media blackout when there’s a wall of cellphones and digital cameras aimed at you.” You know a lot of the videos and pictures taken by that wall of cellphones and digital cameras were almost instantly uploaded for the world to see. The world is watching. The world is watching more than ever before.
When police dismantled Occupy in New York, people there and near and even not so near stormed the internet with images and updates in real time. The police burned 5,000 books the first time they took down the library tent. Then they destroyed more books when they took down the re-established library tent. It’s said, though I haven’t confirmed, that they closed off air space over the area so news helicopters couldn’t film the dismantling process. If that’s true, it’s absurd for many reasons. What they were doing was already seen, for one. The world witnessed it through the eyes of hundreds. Again, social media playing a huge role in recording of all of this. Two: As someone mentioned on twitter, it’s an almost unprecedented restriction of the press and possibly, first amendment rights (which seems to be happening a lot lately). Three: The police acting in a public capacity, they say for the safety of the public, should not be hiding their actions from the very people they claim to be working for. The world is watching whether they like it or not.
And then there is this article by Bob Ostertag, a professor at UC Davis. I posted it on twitter and I’m posting it here, too. This is just something I believe really needs thinking about. Needs thinking about.
Also, here’s a blog post about Occupy by Miss Amanda Palmer, a performance artist who has been touring the Occupy spots trying to bring attention to the movement and get them support through social media and her fans. She talks about her experiences and thoughts on it all. Some of the comments are also worth reading.
There were other articles I wanted to post, but I’ll leave it at that. I’ve more or less said what I wanted to. We’re all in a hell of an adventure here, aren’t we?