Mainstream Media Continues to Disappoint

Mainstream Media Continues to Disappoint

By Aliana Bazara

Overall, May Day was a success! Our numbers were strong throughout the day, we fed tons of people with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, (200 served at breakfast), we had music and dancing, community conversations, and 3 marches.

Reflecting on the vandalism: Arguably, what hurt us the most was not the property destruction itself, but the mainstream media sensationalizing it. Our entire event (breakfast, lunch, speakout, music, and marches included) lasted 9 hours. The property destruction lasted 20 minutes. Yet the focus of the 10:00 news and the cover of The Seattle Times was the destruction.

It comes as no surprise that there was vandalism on May Day. It happened all across the country. Historically, that precedent has already been set. What is surprising is that there was so little of it. It was done and over within 20 minutes, and failed to resurface again for the rest of the day.

What is equally surprising is the lack of police intervention while the vandalism was taking place. No immediate actions were taken, nor were any immediate arrests made by SPD, despite the acts being committed in broad daylight with hundreds of people around. I realize SPD’s desire to be cautious due to recent misconduct allegations against them but they still have a duty to protect. Instead, what I noticed was a curious lack of police intervention during the minutes when vandalism erupted.

I have come to accept that this movement attracts all types of people- including those that throw rocks and break windows. The fringe element was there on Tuesday, but that’s all it was- a fringe element. A small fraction of people creating havoc for a small fraction of the day.

I wish there was some way we could get the general public to see past the mainstream news, whose only purpose these days seems to be to instill fear in people and sell commercials. I wish they could see the level of commitment, passion, and love for the world and one another, that is present within Occupy.

8 Responses to Mainstream Media Continues to Disappoint

  • Bradford B. Morrison says:

    Friends;
    I strongly suspect that someone high up in the Seattle power structure gave the word to PURPOSEFULLY ALLOW a small amount of “violence” (mostly to windows) to take place so as to smear the occupy movement as a negative entity.
    My actual evidence is mostly conjecture:
    1) days BEFORE May 1st, Mayor McGinn publicly stated that some “violence” was believed to be a strong probability. The SPD knew what was coming, in other words. (Probably partly due to police and FBI spies within Occupy Seattle and Anarchist groups, in my opinion)
    2)I have heard twice on fm morning radio, on May 3rd and 4th, that SPD officers told the host of the radio program that there were orders from Assistant Police Chief Mike Sanford early on on May 1st to “use a light footprint” as the march and demonstrations unfolded. Another officer (I believe named Captain Kessler) had recommended a stronger plan, but was overruled.
    3) There is no question in my mind that a nationwide SMEAR CAMPAIGN has been orchestrated against the OCCUPY movement, ever since it started. I believe the evidence here fits, and that the SPD was not just “unprepared”… they were, in fact, IMO, very well prepared; (to allow some damage to be done), so as to make it easier for the 1% to continue with their vicious smear campaign!

    Thanks for listening
    Peace and Love
    Loudmouth Karaoke Brad

  • DarkLinkXXXX says:

    The mainstream media always disappoints, and will continue to disappoint. We must work around this by either using our own media, or using independent platforms like indymedia (anarchist leaning).

  • telos says:

    Overall, Mayday was another disaster that Occupy Seattle needs to take responsibility for. So the mainstream media sensationalized the violence. Duh. That’s what the media does. Always. It’s totally predictable.
    The violence comes as no surprise for two reasons:
    1)the GA has consistently refused to endorse a commitment to nonviolence as the entry ticket.
    2)an angry tone has dominated the group since the turn to marching against the police.

    I agree with Karaoke Brad that the police let much of the rock throwing happen. Best move they could ever make. The problem right now is that the city is proving to be much smarter that Occupy organizers.

    The overall result: there are thousands of us out here who won’t touch an Occupy march with a ten foot pole and feel they have no where to go with their opposition to Wall Street’s control but electoral politics (aggh). Marches stand discredited.

    If you will look at the history of successful pro-democracy movements (Serbia to Egypt) you’ll see they maintained discipline and solved the problem of black bloc style hijackings. Peer pressure and clear boundaries seem to have worked.

  • Steve Leigh says:

    Report on the May Day Occupy/Immigrant Rights March in Chicago. It raises the same issues we face here:

    http://socialistworker.org/2012/05/10/lessons-of-chicagos-may-day

  • donny1020 says:

    Clearly the smashing of windows by the folks in black was not a surprise. It shouldn’t be a surprise, what people appear to be surprised of is the fact that the SPD didn’t crack heads the minute the BOC touched a window.

    The fact that SPD is under major heat for brutality should not be secret. The Mayor and the Chief didn’t want to give the ISO, the BOC, or DS ammunition against them. This is why the order to use restraint was given. If they would have put it down there would have been cries of over reaction.

    The Assistant Chief had given orders on the morning of the 11th to use restraint and not to make an arrest unless someone was in physical danger. This of course pissed off the rank and file cops but cops take direction.

    It was only after the Assistant Chief was in a direct confrontation with BOC/ISO folks that the original order was rescinded and the rank and file cop could use force. This was well after the windows were broken.

    Why did they wait? Because they had guarantees from OS that none of this stuff was going to take place. OS stated that they would self police the demonstration and OS proved they have a credibility problem.

    This even happened at the El Comite meeting where DS and HHO stated that they would be cool and not attempt to steal the focus away from the community groups who initiated May Day marches in Seattle. DS and HHO severely and negatively impacted the immigrant rights march for their own selfish reasons.

    Now we know what DS, HHO, BOC, RCP and the ISO’s reason was, they are bored children of the wealthy ready to destroy anything that doesn’t give them instant gratification and focuses the attention on themselves.

    As for Steve Leigh’s holier than thou attitude stating the ISO had nothing to do with this fiasco, I simply say bullshit. The ISO and the BOC along with other fringe Trotskite groups entered into a pac to control OS, to control OS GAs, and to push their own agenda where they see them selves as the “vanguard” of the revolution. This is why Steve is ignored and marginalized at his own Union meetings. The rank and file member that the ISO and Steve claim to represent has rejected Steve and the ISO’s authoritarian “revolutionary” imagination world.

    The reality is Steve is a pencil pusher at the UW who receives a great wage, sick leave, paid vacation, automatic raises, retiree medical, pension, etc. What did Steve do to get this? nothing. What does Steve or the ISO know about the working class? Nothing, they just repeat tired old ISO slogans and wait for the day that they will be in control, OS was something they wanted to control.

    The ISO and the BOC have worked hand in hand to destroy OS and OS will only become relevant when their influence is removed.

  • Steve Leigh says:

    Repeat a lie often enough and expect people to believe it? The documented record is clear that the ISO has opposed and continues to oppose strategies that isolate Occupy from the general population–Black Bloc tactics, calling a “general strike” with little support etc. Donny’s continual lumping of the ISO with every other group he sees as to his left is tiresome and is a form of “red-baiting”—dismissing any idea , proposal or group by labeling it as “communist” etc. In his latest post Donny also attacks public workers, whose real wages have stagnated and declined and who are the leading target of the anti-union right wing. Siding with the bosses seems a poor way of upholding the interests of the working class!!

    • donny1020 says:

      The only person I saw confront the general strike issue in the way you described it Steve was Bob Barnes, where were you, why did the other ISO bloc support the action, why have the ISO bloc maintained that the “diversity of tactics” line be upheld and fought against a non-violent criteria?

      To be clear, I’m not red baiting, I’m just saying something smells bad and the way that OS was captured and manipulated by the coalition of marginalized Trotskite and Maoist groups as well as the neo-anarchist ended up damaging the actual people they claim to be helping. My only conclusion is that this was done in an effort to silence the voices of the real working class and to use the Occupy movement as their private megaphone.

      I wasn’t making a generalized statement about public employees but those who are in middle management like yourself.

  • Steve Leigh says:

    Again , the ISO spoke out clearly against calling a General Strike at the GA. We have opposed “diversity of tactics” from the beginning,
    see an SW article in March:

    http://socialistworker.org/2012/03/26/diversity-of-tactics

    The ISO , far from wanting to “silence the voices of the real working people” was active at the foundation of the Occupy Seattle Labor Caucus and still is. By the way, I am not in “middle management”. I have been a shop steward in SEIU for 30 years.

    I agree with you that OS has moved in a direction that isolates itself from most of the 99%. Why do you continue to distort the record of those who also want to see OS orient to the issues that can engage large numbers of working class people?