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Forum Post: Improving Our Image, Improving Our Numbers

Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 22, 2011, 12:53 a.m. EST by NickGulotta (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Hey everyone,

I've been out at Zuccotti Park in the rain and cold almost everyday since Saturday. We're doing the right thing. People all over New York and across the country have heard about #OccupyWallStreet. Unfortunately, our numbers are dwindling. We need the support of the general public.

Many of the same people from New York's direct action community who have stood against the war, for social justice, for economic justice, labor, etc. are not joining us. I think we have to ask our selves why.

The media is portraying us uneducated hippies who really don't know why we're protesting. Our image has to change. Bellow are a few thoughts on how we can better represent ourselves.

V for Vendtta was a great film but covering your face has a universal knee-jerk response of "I can't identify with him/her, um...that's just weird." we need to represent ourselves in a way that the average New Yorker will identify with.

Going topless, what type of media coverage will that give us?

If Zuccotti Park smells like pot all day, that's going to find its way into every news story. Will we be taken seriously by an already unsympathetic media? Passersby aren't going to join us if annihilate them.

When we watch footage from the Arab Spring, the Poor People's Campaign, and strategic nonviolent movements throughout history, people dressed and conducted themselves in a manner that the world could sympathized with.

We are the ones who have the vision, have the energy, and have courage to fight for change in the midst of a failing economy, a broken healthcare system, a crippled judicial system and endless wars. We must be seen as the voice of rationality.

I'm hoping this will lead to further discussion and eliciting dialogue. What do you think?




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[-] 2 points by tinyfires (2) 11 years ago

You need to go to reach out to people this is hitting the most, this probably should have done BEFORE the protest, but better late than never. The catch with this particular protest, is that the single mothers that have to work 3 jobs to support herself and her kid(s), has no time whatsoever to come to the protest, and that's who you have to represent somehow. Where are the black and latino communities? Where are the people that live in the "tent cities" all around America. I'm sure they'd love to protest and fight something that has affected their lives so much, and be fed. What about the homeless population in NY? Where are all these groups?

[-] 2 points by maureen (19) from Novato, CA 11 years ago

That's one of the first things I thought of when I heard that OccupyWallStreet was going to have pillow fights. I watched coverage and looked at photographs coming out of Tahrir Square and Libya. Solidarity and a unity of purpose. Pillow fights? Seriously? Let's represent ourselves in a way that the average American will identify.

Also I think Tahrir Square was successful in part due to a general strike. Wall Street/Corporate America pays attention when it feels an economic impact. Boycott the big five banks; Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank and HSBC. If you're not a community bank or credit union what are you waiting for?

[-] 2 points by socialapoclaypse (5) 11 years ago

Totally agree. They are not feeling pain at all, they are LAUGHING. They are being provided entertainment. GIVE THE NATION action items to support you: Move their money. Share the protest, start one in their town, etc.

[-] 2 points by maureen (19) from Novato, CA 11 years ago

And when you close your account send the CEO a letter telling them exactly why you are closing your account. Credit card accounts can be closed to. Why on earth should we be paying 8.24- 30% interest when banks are paying less than 1% on savings?

[-] 2 points by aussie (4) from Sydney, NSW 11 years ago

People need to be sent out to the various workplaces nearby, ESPECIALLY the subway, and talk with the workers there. Tell them what's going on, encourage them to go on strike, or send a representative or two down. When the cops do shit bad, make sure you have video footage to take with you when you spread the word.

A few hundred protesters, even ten thousand, mean nothing compared to the transit workers shutting down the trains for a day.

[-] 1 points by socialapoclaypse (5) 11 years ago

GOOD IDEAS. ENLIST SUPPORT. Enlist respect from cops. Enlist concurrence from local businesses. THINK about who the ENEMIES of the Wall Street Thugs ARE... they want to cause them pain. Each has, in their way, the ability to "contribute" some pain.

[-] 1 points by NoMoreBull (6) 11 years ago

Who stole the Wall St. Bull?

[-] 1 points by jleiz99 (2) from Geneseo, NY 11 years ago

Is this supposed to last until, at least, October 7th? I'm up at school in Geneseo and cannot make it back until then. Well, I can over the weekend, but am short on funds. I totally agree that there needs to be a more presentable approach to the uprising. In order to relate to all people, and not just those who associate themselves with extreme liberalism, our message needs to be presented in an organized and responsible manner (not nudity, pot, and hostility). The comment below me sums it up pretty well. I really hope to get back to the city soon, so I can show my support for our cause. For the separation of corp and state, which will leas us to economic justice, and in turn, political and social justice as well.

[-] 1 points by kristianb21 (33) 11 years ago

First Demand in my recommendation should be to repass the Glass-Steagall Act and also look up Sheila Bair she had a ton of ideas but was threatened within the FDIC because her proposals threatened their profits.

Get ready for a huge battle if we decide to continue with this!

[-] 1 points by kristianb21 (33) 11 years ago

we need to educate the followers on facts write a ton of signs pointing out crucial events that hurt the 99% like every time a fdic bailed out corporations leaving the tax payers with the bill or printing more of our currency, decreasing it's value.

I think the main fight is FDIC and Wall Street's influence on America's Politics & MEDIA(hence the media black out).

[-] 1 points by kristianb21 (33) 11 years ago

i agree 100% Please look into The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin it has all facts on bailouts, corruptions, and the names of the guys who rule the whole wall street business.

[-] 1 points by socialapoclaypse (5) 11 years ago

Another thing: I personally think a permit would be a GOOD idea, NYC is NOT the enemy here. Permits don't allow them to stop you from protesting, they allow you to STOP THEM from stopping YOU. It also asserts your KNOWLEDGE of laws that must be followed so you will be allowed to remain. For me, and most of the people I know, we are protesting CORRUPTION in our laws and government. NOT Laws and government. PLEASE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! This is not WOODSTOCK.

[-] 1 points by socialapoclaypse (5) 11 years ago

Thank you for having the courage to post this. I have been very worried about this from the beginning. The protesters often are being portrayed as crazy activists, and for all of us thousands of miles away, (like it or not) we must make our judgement based on EVIDENCE.

Our message is about the 99%. That means we have to LOOK, BEHAVE and RESPOND like 99% of Americans so that they are ABLE to align themselves with us.

Trashing cops, behaving in illegal activity, blatantly showing hostility for NYC laws is DISRESPECTFUL to AMERICANS and they aren't going to like it. It also is taking a GROUP message and making it YOUR PERSONAL RANT.

This is NOT a personal rant, and our biggest challenge will remain to POLICE this ourselves, and PROTECT our message. PLEASE stop making it so easy for them to PORTRAY this image.

This is not about YOUR opinion of "THE ESTABLISHMENT". That is for another protest on another day. PLEASE do not use this gathering as a stage for YOUR PERSONAL BELIEFS. They have no place here.

It's such a SIMPLE message, and yet is NOT (I can tell you as a West Coast SUPPORTER searching for any positive results I CAN) getting communicated AT ALL.

YOU MUST get a group of RESPECTABLE looking people, giving a UNANIMOUS MESSAGE, to a country that WANTS to join in but cannot find a SINGLE person that looks or acts like they would if they were there.

I say all of this with love and respect and a sincere desire to make this protest WORK. Put your shirt ON. Take your masks OFF and save your <worthy> messages for a day when you are speaking to people who are open to hearing it.

[-] 1 points by TheObserver (37) 11 years ago

It seems we were sharing similar thoughts about the V masks. I posted this as an idea, please add to this if you can.


[-] 1 points by oftenon (12) from New York, NY 11 years ago

• Since SCOTUS decreed corporations people, you are American shareholders. You are demanding your fair share in America. Your taxes rescued corporations when they failed and now they prosper - $2T in IDLE corp profits -- where's your shareholder dividend? Where are JOBS?

[-] 1 points by lpalmerpaton (1) 11 years ago

Well said and yes!

[-] 1 points by SnotRocketScience (13) from Columbus, OH 11 years ago

I can only agree. I smelled a lot of pot all day over the first few days.

Also, we ALL need to do all we can to bring more attention to this! That means emailing every single last person we have an email address for. that means calling everyone. Now that Im back in Ohio for a week or so, I have been making flyers and pamphlets about this event. I have been making a stencil too (which may not sound like much, but just wait and see how many times I can get "occupywallst.org written in one area in one day).

There is a list of contact info for news outlets; call them incessantly!!

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 11 years ago

Yes, from what I have been seeing in live stream and videos topless women, etc. has I am afraid diluted the cause ...

[-] 0 points by VVV (0) 11 years ago

I think you've really hit upon something. Those masks aren't helping. Neither will the pot. You need buy-in from the folks around you, and they need to think that this is for them too.

I'd like to share things besides arrests on fb and twitter. What is being asked for? What is the objective? Who will speak? I want to share That. The demonstration will continue to be Watched (just a bunch of college kids getting their asses arrested) until a clear, unified voice comes forward. THEN, you will get the support of the masses.

I just saw an update with demands. I think it's too broad. I think it needs to be whittled down. For now. Go for more later. Now it looks like, "college kids asking for the moon." Effect change sure, but right now, just the fact that you are demonstrating in the streets is shocking to the average citizen. Asking to eliminate American Imperialism............right now, is quite a thing to demand today. How the heck are we going to get there? It's not going to happen next week. Try more for objectives that can be achieved in a shorter span of time. There are plenty of those. Political lobbying needs to be outlawed. The way our politicians raise campaign monies is insane. Fracking should be outlawed. The FDA and Monsanto should not be allowed to do what they are doing. So much to change............but try to demand things that can be accomplished sooner, rather than later.

I can't think straight anymore. Time to hit the hay. Hope this helps in some way.

[-] 1 points by TuHyFNTm (12) 11 years ago

I agree with you comments. How about: Endless Wars == Endless Debt.
Or: Debt Is Slavery.
Or: Keep The TSA Out Of My Junk.

Today's agenda that focuses on Communism, Socialism, etc., turns off American's. These words are political poison. Take a lesson from the government (ie: "Patriot Act") and start trying to win minds, instead of trying to just get attention.