We are entering the second month of OWS and real accomplishments have already been made. The beginning of the movement was nothing more than a blip on the radar until the infamous video came out of the high-ranking NYPD cop pepper-spraying a young teacher’s aide during one of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Thanks in large part to the NYPD, they single-handedly put this movement front in center in the news, and since then, OWS has been headlining both print and cable media daily. In addition to that very big accomplishment, there have been many others.
- Occupy Wall Street has changed the focus of cable news and right-wing media away from spending cuts and austerity to focusing on unemployment and the culpability of the financial sector in our economic failure.
- Since two Sundays ago, unions have joined in the movement and participated in several large marches. Friends now bring their children.
- The press, almost uniformly dismissive of OWS during the initial weeks, shows signs of understanding that the group touches a deep-seated anger and confusion in America.
- OWS has been successful in changing the focus of the nation. It was just a few months ago that the main focus was on deficit reduction and the debt ceiling debate. Now our representatives are talking about a millionaires’ tax. On Morning Joe they talk about whether banks should be broken up or nationalized.
- In two weeks, Occupy Wall Street groups have racked up over 1,000,000 new “likes” on Facebook, rising from 550,000 to nearly 1,600,000.
- Groups of programmers are getting together in hackathons to build new online tools for the movement. A national Occupy Wall Street convention is being discussed for July 4, 2012.
- Occupy Las Vegas made themselves heard during CNN’s debate coverage last night. Even better, it took place while Erin Burnett, who infamously slandered Occupy Wall Street, was on the air.
Republicans Still In the Attack Mode
Republicans and right-wing media are still trying to find new ways of attacking the OWS movement. If you remember, they started out demonizing the people involved calling them smelly hippies, mobs, nazis, socialists, marxist, idiots, uneducated trouble makers, and OWS starting class warfare against the very wealthy and the “job creators.” Now Republicans and their media cronies seem to have settled on a new main line of attack Occupy Wall Street, accusing it of anti-Semitism.
Recently Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was quoted as calling OWS protesters un-American and anti-capitalist. During the debate in Las Vegas, he told the cheering, boisterous crowd that Occupy Wall Street protesters should blame themselves for their unemployment, “Don’t Blame Wall Street. Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.” Obviously choosing to forget the banks are still in business today solely because they had to take our tax payer money to prevent massive failure.
OWS Fund Raising
OWS has made great strides in donations as well. As of Wednesday OWS has been able to raise $435,000 in donations (donations can be made at occupywallst.org/donate), and the first television commercial is expected to be hitting the airwaves soon. You can view it below.