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Forum Post: Is OWS becoming that which they are protesting?

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 20, 2011, 3:33 a.m. EST by Confusedoldguy (260)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Only one of Desmond Tutu's statements this week made the OWS web site, the one calling on Trinity Church to support the movement. Hs second statement, calling on the movement to not break the law, somehow wasn't considered news-worthy by this site. You need to go elsewhere to read both statements, like here: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/12/desmond-tutu-sides-occupy-movement-sort/46341/

So here is the timeline: corporations accepted bailouts they didn't deserve and manipulated the media to justify it, giving birth to Occupy Wall Street, which tried to take land it didn't deserve and manipulated the media to justify it. So the question is a valid one - is OWS becoming that which they are protesting?

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14 Comments


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[-] 3 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

I don't think it's as simple as OWS becoming what it's protesting; I feel like this is more the result of a good deal of misdirected anger combined with a general lack of focus within the movement and nobody having enough authority within the movement to say "Cut it out; you're being a fool" and actually have people abide by that decision.

I'm going to continue to stand with them as of now, simply because the only other option I can see is to walk away and accept how things are and where they're headed. That said, the Trinity Church thing really pisses me off. Seriously, this is a church that has been backing you as best it could from Day 1. If this land belonged to a hostile hedge fund or multinational then it would be one thing, but even if you ignore the moral considerations of that decision it's just plain stupid. Publicly kicking one of your backers in the balls without any real provocation is the kind of thing that would make any self-respecting strategist facepalm and it's one of the reasons I feel like OWS needs to start getting its shit together.

As much as running around Occupying everything was great when they got started (and still continues to have several successful applications now, particularly the move on foreclosed homes) it's no longer enough to sustain a movement and knee-jerk Occupying things in a fit of pique is a fast way to lose support. We need a multifaceted plan of action in which protesting exists in parallel with political involvement and PR campaigns, and part of that is the movement starting to be a good deal more considerate and more image-conscious. Pissing off Desmond Tutu to grab a patch of churchyard is exactly the kind of thing we need to not do.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 2 years ago

well said Dude!

[-] 1 points by stanchaz (36) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Hey.. Mr. "we manipulate ( Fox news) media", lighten up already! We definitely A-R-E what we protest.... in that we're all human, all fallible, and no one is a saint, ...or wants to be. I'm just SOOOO glad that YOU weren't directing the Civil Rights Movement, advising them that laws were never meant to be broken, not for the greater good, not even in civil disobedience. Or maybe you were, Mr." confusedoldguy" .....and that's why it took so long. HEY, It's not like Occupy wants to steal the deed to Boardwalk, instead of "deserving" it. Better yet, you tell me: What DO we "deserve"? How about fairness and justice for starters? HOW ABOUT A GAME WHERE THE RULES AREN'T RIGGED AGAINST US? How about a DECENT future for us and our kids?Enough bullshit.

[-] 2 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 2 years ago

I'm all for graciousness, Stan. Would have been nice to see some of that graciousness applied to the church's decision about the property - "We don't agree with your refusal, church, but as a group that is demanding that our rights be honored, we will honor your right to do what you want with your property." that sounds pretty gracious - much more than "let's get a ladder!"

And are you really OK with the selective publishing of Desmond Tutu's statements? Do you really think that makes the movement look good? If so, I'm surprised.

[-] 1 points by OccupyLink (529) 2 years ago

Huh? We are protesting about greedy bank executives giving themselves 100s of millions each in Christmas bonuses. I know of no one in OWS getting such a bonuses. In fact, I have not even had a Christmas bonus from OWS yet. :(

[-] 2 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 2 years ago

No one is saying the two are identical. But are you seriously OK with this web site selecting which of Desmond Tutu's statements would be posted? Either his opinions matter, or they don't. To publish one and not the other, leaving the impression (which I read in posts yesterday) that he supported the action against the Duarte property, sounds like the same kind of media manipulation that everyone gets so angry about. Sorry, I still think the question is valid.

[-] 1 points by OccupyLink (529) 2 years ago

Of course Desmond Tutu's opinion matters. It appears from what was said that Tutu supports the Movement. You seem to suggest that his words were a selective precis of the whole quote to present a bias. If this is the case, that would be wrong of course. The media is bad at doing this, and people seem to shut the truth out with their own bias.

[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 2 years ago

I'm not sure how else to interpret this, Occupy. Tutu's statement on the 15th calling on the church to support the movement was considered newsworthy on this site, and it was. Hs statement on the 16th calling on OWS to obey the law was not considered newsworthy here, despite the fact that it was.

Look at it this way. If Fox News had reported only his statement on the 16th and ignored the one from the previous day, the outrage on this forum would have been huge, and justified. Failure to hold the OWS media people to the same standard is at best inconsistent, and at worst hypocritical.

[-] 1 points by OccupyLink (529) 2 years ago

What you say is quite correct. The truth should be told at all times, whether it suits us or not. Of course, if Tutu calls on OWS to obey the law, and they do not, then there is obviously a difference here. It should be polinted out that the ANC did sometimes break the law in South Africa, and Tutu would have no doubt disagreed with them also. People can also support the Movement - ANC or Occupy, but disagree on various approaches.

It is true that people sometimes report what they think is important. I am glad you highlighted what he said on the 16th. Whether it was inconsistent, hypocritical, oversight or otherwise depends on the intentions of the people raising the post about Tutu - or those reporting on Fox, in your example, for that matter. With Fox, it could be oversight also, Who knows. Only the originator.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

what determines what land a human deserves

[-] 2 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 2 years ago

Currently, property rights do. If the system sucks, change it. But in the meantime, isn't it better to be consistent and transparent about statements from personalities like Tutu? Post everything he says, or post nothing he says. But filtering what he says so only the helpful stuff reaches the troops is just sleazy journalism, which is kinda what everybody gets so mad about. It's all about credibility, and on this issue, the site blew it.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

it's hard to believe that wealth should be so concentrated

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