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Forum Post: Our image needs to appeal to the masses

Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 28, 2011, 11:58 a.m. EST by subatomicrobots (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I really support the Occupy movement, and I want us to succeed. However, I worry about our image that's projected to the masses. Yes, we represent the masses, the 99%, but if normal everyday folks around the country see too much violence, pooping on cop cars, and communist messages, they will not feel that WE represent THEM. And in turn, we lose their support. We need to do all we can to gain the support of the country. And that includes soccer moms watching Regis and Kelly. Most of the country isn't as young and hip and radical as we are. And we don't want to alienate them and lose their support by coming off as wild and anarchist and hippie and punk rock. I know that's not all of us, but we need to think about how the media portrays us and how our audience sees us if we want their support. And that's our goal, to make this movement as big as possible. We can be radical, but our image needs to appeal to the masses if we want to change things.



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[-] 4 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

Well said. Everyone knows that the 99% includes some outliers, but they make the most exciting news. It's a big tent so stay away from the walls.

[-] 2 points by Idaltu (662) 11 years ago

The media has a tendency to focus on what we do. At the present moment it is tents and campsites. Personally I think the campsite approach has reached its limit in terms of achieving our goal. I think it is time to move on and give the media a new focus.

However, getting rid of campsites does not mean going home. It means having booths in parks etc where information is distributed, a Kisok type system, tied by computers across the nation. Then a printer that can be used to print out the names of public officials that are deeply invested in special interests...keep it local but have that network set up.

A sort of reality WIki approach.

[-] 2 points by JadedGem (895) 11 years ago

I've thought that the tactics used by OWS alienate a lot of people who are in agreement with the principles. Saying you want to end our whole government and the constitution rather than work to change it, is not the way to win the hearts of Americans. Perhaps after people have invested a few years trying to change it threw more traditional means they would be that fed up. First the government would have to blow off petitions and reasonable attempts at reform. OWS all over the world is a lot of wind. In countries that have "Won" where is the change? What is the change? Yes, you can pull off a rebellion but what has that seriously meant? A change in puppets? If you want to lead people fine, just know where the hell you are going. By the way, I'm not even a troll, just a regular person who supports the goals and questions the means.

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

True. Visually, morally, ethically etc. We need to relate and esonate with the masses (i.e. soccer moms, office workers). Put more protesters in suits, have after 5pmthat events so fulltime working people can join in and be motvated etc.

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

I agree, and I have a suggestion for a way to articulate the demand, the shared vision, that I believe would have very broad appeal - would help all kinds of folks make sense of this movement. It is to use this frame: "What we seek is government of the people, by the people, and for the people - with liberty and justice for all!" We should use this language, that virtually all Americans resonate with deeply - that BELONGS to all Americans, not to any individual from this movement (Gettysburg Address & Pledge of Allegiance, btw). In addition to reminding people what this is all about, it also would encompass, I believe, virtually every positive change we would seek. I posted a more detailed thread on this, but haven't been able to find it again, after one gratuitously ugly comment. If anyone reading this finds it, and likes it, please bump it up.

We need to focus on what UNITES us... and I think this may be it.

Also... if we can't NAME what we want - clearly! - we can't manifest it. For both these reasons I wish these words were on everyone's lips, in letters to the editor, on banners, in statements to press: We seek government of the people, by the people, and for the people - with liberty and justice for all.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 11 years ago

You want this movement to succeed? Be careful what you wish for. This movement is based on anarchy. Started by an anarchist. Lead by an anarchist. Using anarchist principles. And the leader has friends that are experts at running resistance movements. OWS states very clearly that they are a resistance movement and they don't need politicians, and they want a revolution. I think they mean that literally, not figuratively. So be careful what you wish for.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11293836/1/meet-the-man-behind-occupy-wall-street.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCrC6GL7430&feature=youtu.be

Thats not to say that many of the issues that are discussed here are not legitimate ( ie: government corruption, crony capitalism, unfairness and inequality). But I don't think violence or a revolution is a necessary or desirable way to correct these things.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 11 years ago

The good news is that you're completely right and that you're far from the first to talk about this; the bad news is that you'll most likely be far from the last. Earlier on I suggested a plan to fix this problem that would probably be fairly simple and not all that expensive to implement; see http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-needs-a-face-and-voice-that-wont-scare-or-piss/ for the full thing.

[-] 1 points by pastverbal1 (1) 11 years ago

In addition to protests, being affirmative would help the image. I am a small investor and give research/lessons to others. Maybe there should be a parallel Occupy to Defy Wall Street movement to bring solid concepts, defy media hype, plain english revenge course to help small investors across the US.

I would need help to build such an image because I am not tech savvy for social networking. Mark Pastverbal@gmail.com

[-] 1 points by JonValle (133) 11 years ago

We all know that this can't be helped. Anyone that says it isn't the media is kidding themselves. My father travels a lot throughout the US. When he stays in most southern states, he generally cannot find any form of center-lefty station nor can he find stations like MSNBC (I'm not saying this station represents us in the best of light but it's better than others).

There are those that don't want to see what we are trying to do, or see what's going on around us. Unfortunately many Americans have been brainwashed to believe whatever they are told instead of doing their own research to find out facts.

If you want a clear representation of that, just check out this forums. You have those that fully support the movement, then you have those that like to spew nothing but nonsense with very little facts attached. The best thing we can do is simply educate those that do not fully understand what's going on, or pretend like they do just because they watch the news every night.

Read, ask questions, participate and ignore the trolls is the best I can say.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 11 years ago

I can tell you one thing that doesn't ever work. And it is telling people they've been "brainwashed" or they're "ignorant" or that they just need to go to your preferred media outlet to get the "facts", when in reality, they just don't agree with you. There are almost always two sides to every story, shades of gray in a world that everyone wants to make into black and white. The Occupy movement doesn't resonate with a lot because people can read, they can hear. They actually see and hear protesters with their own eyes and ears advocating for cancellation of student debt, for wiping out foreclosures, they see anarchistic symbols, they actually see the baiting of police, they read diaries on Daily Kos calling for everyone to come out and bring their video cameras so they can make "viral" videos of "police brutality". When do you see the talking heads on MSNBC ask questions of, or participate with, anyone who isn't already a true believer? Almost never. Ed Shultz might as well be a paid spokesman for the unions. Lawrence "Hannibal Lecter" O'Donnell is just interested in delivering 10 minute long screeds against his punching bag of the day. And Rachel, the "fairest" of the bunch, is just the smartest little kid in the class, waving and waving her hand so that she can, once again, tell you the right answer. I watch both Fox and MSNBC almost every night (yes, my life is pretty dull). I detest Sean Hannity's style, even though I'm a conservative. O'Reilly, aside from the stupid segment with Colmes and his conservastive cohort, has on people who disagree with him almost every night, and no, he doesn't shout them down (unless he thinks you're lying, like Barney Frank). Who would criticize Great Van Suteren? She is pretty fair, tries to ask good questions (like she did last night with Rick Perry on immigration), and talks to both sides. I am just appalled that any sane people actually watch the programs rather than hear what other people say, and come off with the idea that the two networks do the same thing. They are of two viewpoints, but conduct their business in entirely different ways.

[-] 1 points by JonValle (133) 11 years ago

I am not going to say that anything you just said was incorrect. I actually appreciate your comment a lot more that the previous individual.

I was not saying that everyone should watch MSNBC. We can agree that MSNBC leans to the left and FOX to the right. With that being said I was just pointing out that when you only have one sides opinion, you become heavily influenced by that side. In terms of FOX, there has been a lot of negative commentary from their side. If that is all you watch then you(not you directly) will probably start believing anything and everything that is said without doing the research. I advocate to anyone to not take what anyone says as the truth. Everyone should further research what they hear to better inform themselves.

You seem to be significantly more educated than some of the other people, who have been against the movement, that I have came in contact with. I work with a moderate conservative and I agree with several of his ideas as he does with mine. My statement was geared towards those who blindly regurgitate whatever they are told. This applys to the left and right. I am more of an independent and get both sides. I listen to 6 podcasts throughout the day and have about 6 news sources I try to check when I can.

When it comes to those with anarchist symbols and stuff: that stuff does annoy me but I know its a minority. It unfortunate but you can't control everything and everyone. I've been to several OWS marches and out of the biggest, 30k+ I saw 2 people with anarchist symbols displayed and I was immediately annoyed. Did I see or meet everyone, no but you get my point.

And trust me, I don't expect everyone go share my same views. But what I do expect and hope for, is more to be like yourself, and have an educated opinion and not just an opinion based off bias and misinformation.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 11 years ago

You, too, seem reasonable. I can only comment on what I see and hear for myself. I watch O'Reilly and he has a pretty standard refrain when discussing his opinions. He always gives his opinion, and then says, "I could be wrong, what say you?", leaving open the possibility for his guest to convince him or at least his audience. The problem with OWS is that perception is oftentimes reality, and when the message is so fragmented, when you have so many different agendas in play, it is hard for people to "get on board", because they don't know exactly what it is the protesters want. Getting money out of politics is something most would agree with, but then you have a lot of other people who comment that this is "just the first step", insinuating that maybe after that that they'll go for the destruction of capitalism or other nutty agendas that some in the movement espouse. Reasonable people like me who do see some problems with things like healthcare and corporate control of the government, but who are not in any way shape or form "radical", shy away from the movement.

[-] 0 points by slizzo (-96) 11 years ago

blah blah blah...media...blah blah blah...brainwashed...blah blah blah....educate...blah blah blah...

my, how original. if anything, the lefty media is on your lefty side. the only people brainwashed are the boobs who think camping will effect change. and just about every ows kiddie needs an education in reality, economics, and work ethic. your self-esteem doesn't mean shit to people with work to do.

[-] 1 points by JonValle (133) 11 years ago


[-] 1 points by kingscrosssection (314) 11 years ago

Stop saying you people represent me because you don't.

[-] 1 points by HeavySigh (227) 11 years ago


[-] 1 points by kingscrosssection (314) 11 years ago

Where do you stand?

[-] 0 points by HeavySigh (227) 11 years ago

Against this sorry excuse for a movement. I just had a guy tell me on another post that, and I quote, in 1776 we weren't fighting the british, but the 1% of America who were represented.....W H A T????!?!!?! The things they teach kids today.


[-] 0 points by kingscrosssection (314) 11 years ago

I agree with you people need to be taught how to think before they go to school. I was just told I've been brainwashed by big corporations for practically no reason. Although to be fair I'm only 16 years old.


[-] 0 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 11 years ago

the only effective way to combat that problem is to create 1001 presentations on each of the issues which does represent us effectively... ergo... the wiki.



I have been active here since the very beginning, and since the very beginning I have been trying to make some core points. These points clearly have not been digested or fully understood by the mob, and so I'm going to try to make a further attempt here again.

  1. Merely protesting in the streets will not bring change. In fact merely protesting in the streets is in fact a means to the end of avoiding the real work of a revolution, which consists of the evolutionary solutions, answers, problem solving process, and new political alignment we create.
  2. This forum is absolutely disorganized. It won't be read by most people and it won't and can't function as a core organizational system.
  3. Back at the very start of this, I petitioned the admin to add multiple sub forums and a wiki. Multiple sub forums were promised but have never arrived. I think that this tells us that the intention actually of this forum is message control and containment. The entire purpose really of this forum has always been to keep us spinning in disorganization. We are hanging out on a forum that expressly exists to actually keep us confused and disorganized.
  4. The real work of a revolution isn't going to happen on forums, it needs to happen in a much more organized fashion using collaborative software.
  5. The assorted other details about how to collaborate, how to work open source direct democracy, how to focus in on science instead of isms, how to become hyper rational about this, are details which are essential and crucial, without which we can predict the movement to fail.
  6. Technically speaking we are not 99 percent, we are one tenth of one percent attempting to represent the 99 percent. Our core mission must be to communicate to and with the 99 percent, and get them to join us. This forum will not accomplish that and neither will any of the other main websites.
  7. You can follow other people out to other wikis and other websites, where they will try to get you to get involved with what they want and their program, but frankly speaking, there is no other website and no other operation out there which understands the complexities involved with meaningful organization. In short, everyones being led to get involved here there and everywhere else, scattering the movement in directions which ultimately do not gain us critical mass, criticial momentum, or critical systemic lucidity.
  8. I have managed to get a wiki put up and have already put on that wiki evolutionary details which make it more organized than anything else. I can't do this alone. There are 10 or so wikis now out there, most of which were created in response to my pleas for a wiki, and several of which are in domains owned and operated by some corporation, (wikia, etc) And which we can thus assume will simply be closed, shut down, or deleted if they become useful to the movement.
  9. Probably at least half of the invites you have to go participate at some other site are people who are scamming everyone to waste time and energy, distort the movement, co opt it, and etc. When you walk off into a closet ask yourself how you know that the closet isn't created by some fed, or by some republican, or by some democrat, in order to sway things in their direction.
  10. The only meaningful strategic option we have for real change in this country is to create a new third party, and take every political office in this country.
  11. Once that is done, we can have an article 5 convention. If we have an article 5 convention before getting rid of the oligachs, that just opens the genie from the bottle for them to abuse that process with their corruption and evil.

For these reasons, I beg of you to please immediately join me on the wiki. We need to have all of these details and all of these ideas put together in an organized fashion, rather than posted in a long scrawl which will never be read.








[-] 0 points by StudsDupa (22) 11 years ago

When I was in college many years ago, a professor had asked: "what is the difference between the people and the masses." When no one was able to answer the question, she stated that: "the people think."

[-] 1 points by Thinkdeer (250) 11 years ago

Sure, the problem though is confirmation bias. If I have a set of experiences and reflect upon them to arrive at the conclusions I do. I know that I am thinking. It is easier for me to recognize that "the people think" when the way they arrive at similar conclusions. Yet somebody with a similar set of experiences can reflect upon them and arrive at a different conclusion. What if I fail to recognize that they too are thinking? What If they believe I am part of the mass of sheep, and that they are the thinking people?

I am not arguing for relativism, rather I am suggesting that one can only know their own conclusions and attempt to disperse them as well as they can, while being humble and sincere. If the wisdom of their conclusions hold true, others will pick it up so long as experience is sufficiently shared.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 11 years ago

"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

-- by Martin Niemöller

Albeit, a little over dramatic to use here, however, the "masses" are already aware. People just want to find a way to package it and sell it for their own profit. That is quite sad.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 11 years ago

Why? They are media conglomerates. I have news for you, it isn't going to change. It doesn't matter what you do. Why would they screw their own interests?

[-] -2 points by slizzo (-96) 11 years ago

in other words, you want to present a false image of who you really are. you want to lie to get people on board. I don't think that'll help the movement much, either.

the problem is you don't represent the 99% who aren't the top 1%. not by a long shot.

the very idea that everyone who isn't part of the top 1% is in the same group is insulting. I only wish the world was that simple. it isn't, and applying a simplistic binary to something as complex as american society is doomed to failure.

very few people who see ows in the news identify with you. the "gimme gimme gimme" message is as poorly received as blocking bridges and roads. this whole movement is a joke, and for the most part the remedy ows is screaming for will only make things worse.