Members of New York City’s Occupy movement are waging an expanding relief effort for tens of thousands of people who remain without heat, power or hot water in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Observers are calling it Occupy’s finest hour.
You don’t have to participate in this system, but you do have to describe it and its complexities and contradictions accurately, and you do have to understand that when you choose not to participate, it better be for reasons more interesting than the cultivation of your own moral superiority, which is so often also the cultivation of recreational bitterness.
After a series of dream-come-true gaffes and blunders from Mitt Romney in recent weeks, Obama and his savvy campaign staff should really be home free, having run political circles around their Republican opponent as he was running circles around himself. There’s only one problem: the world.
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges was in Zuccotti Park—the plaza in lower Manhattan known to Occupy Wall Street as “Liberty Square”—during the movement’s one-year anniversary. The genie of protest it let loose can’t be returned to the bottle of society’s margins, he told RT America.
Observers say Occupy is dead, but the multimillion-dollar conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity is organizing a demonstration against the movement in New York City on Thursday “to stand up to Occupy Wall Street extremists.”
The one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street produced a lot of mainstream media stories that assured you Occupy was only a bunch of tents that came down last year. Don’t buy it. A year is nothing and the mainstream media is oblivious to where power lies and how change works.
In his article “The Cancer in Occupy” posted on Truthdig in February, Chris Hedges criticized Black Bloc activists, saying their use of violence in the streets would alienate the Occupy movement from mainstream Americans and legitimize the use of police violence in the eyes of the public. Black Bloc supporter Brian Traven debated him in New York City last week.
Long before Occupy Wall Street took form, and long before the corporate media caught on, two of our top columnists at Truthdig foresaw the economic calamity that still grips our country. Chris Hedges devoted his time and energy warning Americans about the disastrous symbiosis between big business and our government, both in his columns and in the streets. Meanwhile, Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer covered the buildup to the meltdown for over a decade, naming names and taking no prisoners in his latest book, in his own columns and in his zinger of an acceptance speech at the 2010 Webby Awards -- held, as it happened, in the heart of Wall Street.