This Is What Democracy Looks Like?
I took a personal look this week at the Occupy Wall Street site and found myself not very impressed.
Certainly the actual participants are sincere but the whole setting has taken on a carnival-like atmosphere, complete with breathless Amy Goodman "interviews" and her irritatingly repetitive questions that start with "talk about" and then suggest the answers that interviewees should head to.
Occupation "peepers" vastly outnumber the not quite on Wall Street occupiers.
While some reports depict the various Occupy groups throughout the US as acting on behalf of 99% of Americans, that seems to be an inflation of representation on a par with some of the stratagems, tactics and imagery used by secessionists and Teabaggers. For instance, the Burlington group headed by (if you're the one quoted usually most frequently, you're the head/spokesperson, like it or not) Matt Cropp/OB uses an image from no, not Burlington, but rather an arrest in NYC. No context, no verifiable facts, just an arrest takedown with no other information.
Was a crime committed? By whom? What happened immediately before that arrest? Is there some relationship to the Burlington PD? Nope, just an image from somewhere else meant to evoke, you know, whatever it's hoped might be seen in it by whoever, although there's no absolutely relationship whatsoever to the Burlington PD.
Did Cropp or someone else slap that image onto their Facebook page for its emotional value? Who's to say? But its relevance to the Burlington PD or any inference regarding their treatment of the occupiers here would be a bullshit conclusion. It's just the sort of misinformation that can make the Occupy Burlington group as irrelevant to Vermonters as the secessionist organization that Cropp represents (or not, depending on who he's trying to stroke) has done to themselves over the years with their misrepresentations. Fostering bad relations with the Burlington PD without any basis can't serve Vermonters or the would-be occupiers. Any such movement must be based on truth if it's to take off, unless, of course, Cropp, et al, are following the Teabagger model.
Given "the amount of print and face time" that Cropp's managed to garner for himself up to now, he's most definitely the "spokesperson" for the Vermont Occupy groups.
Cropp has said,
"(T)he vast majority of people I met (at OWS NYC) were from places other than NYC; on the second trip it was majority New Yorker"While the first statement by Cropp may have been true, his second statement is sheer bullshit. Zuccotti Park is crawling with tourists and tour buses clog the area streets to see the "action." If Cropp's actually been there, he'd know that or he's just lying to promote a political disinformation campaign.
What's missing from the OWS locale are any advocates of Cropp's signature issue - secession. I looked hard for any sign of secessionist sentiment and it ain't there. For those of you who've forgotten or who now wish to, Matt was the campaign manager of one of the most unsuccessful gubernatorial efforts in recent Vermont history, the secessionist campaign of the middle finger waving Connecticut native Dennis Steele; Occupy Burlington might want to take note of that fact.
Cropp is seen grinning here in an early warning by Occupy Burlington to the Burlington PD. With no problem yet having presented itself with the Burlington PD, why did the group seek to draw kind of some line in the sand? Looking for an incident that you think will inspire, Matt? Back in the day we use call that being a provocateur, not leadership.
The posturing by Cropp on behalf of Occupy Burlington seems to be pretty obvious, including the field trips to OWS that he's now involved in promoting while soliciting contributions. Hopefully there'll be a full, transparent, public financial accounting of this fundraising effort by Cropp's group and given its complaints about taxes one hopes that they'll make the necessary income tax declarations (I don't think that road trips to NYC will qualify as a charitable expenditure by an as yet to be applied for 501(3)(c) status).
In fact, when a Occupy Burlington supporter complained repeatedly about the junkets to New York, Matt sought to silence the public, transparent discussion on Facebook by directing the discussion to himself personally:
"Before throwing around baseless accusations imputing the goodwill of people who've been working damn hard to help build this movement, why don't you actually try and talk to us - I'm around this afternoon and available to talk through either skype or on the phone. Send me a private message with your contact info and let's discuss your concerns"According to tonight's news reports, the City of New York intends to assist the owner of Zuccotti Park assert its management rights in the park tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM.
Source: Occupy Burlington, Matt's 10/11/11, 1:17 PM response to -Zach #AntiSec's 10/11/11, 11:14 AM complaint
Occupy Wall Street "spokesman" Patrick Bruner has "called on people to come to the site at 6 a.m. tomorrow, an hour before cleaning is scheduled to begin, 'to defend the occupation from eviction.'”
Here's an idea for Occupy Burlington spokespersons and organizers, Matthew Cropp and Jonathan Leavitt; instead of just "be(ing) here, strong and standing together in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.," they get on the road and be there in Zuccotti Park at 6:00 AM as is being asked for by OWS.
It's time to fish or cut bait, boys. You may want to download this app on the way there.
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