Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
Media coverage of the Occupy Movement has improved, though given how it began, that’s not exactly praise. Still, we’ve gone from ignoring, to “they don’t have any goals!” to parroting or initiating demeaning remarks, to some semblance of reporting. Of course that’s a generalization, and there has been actual reporting from some all along. What the MSM is doing comes off looking a bit better when you glance even further to the Right. It’s important to remember that what FOX “reports” is what serves as “getting the news” for millions. Below are three samples of Occupy according to FOX, just to prepare you, in case your Thanksgiving plans include political conversation with anyone who relies on Coulter, O’Reilly, or some gathering of Fox & Friends.
First, via SF Weekly, in an interview with Bryan Sussman at KSFO:
Seven Awful Things Ann Coulter Just Said About Occupy Wall Street …
1. ‘I knew there would be mob uprisings again. They are demonic.’…
4. ‘I guess it’s fun to destroy stuff. As they found out during the French Revolution, it’s lots of fun to just start randomly murdering people – this is the way it always is with mobs.’
6. ‘Remember the lesson from my book: It just took a few shootings at Kent State to shut that down for good.’
On Monday night, O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly and Fox News host Megyn Kelly sat down to discuss what really happened at UC Davis on Friday and whether campus police acted appropriately in showering a group of sitting students with pepper spray. Their conclusion? No big deal.
‘Pepper spray, that just burns your eyes, right?’ O’Reilly asked Kelly.
‘Right,’ Kelly said. ‘I mean, it’s like a derivative of actual pepper. It’s a food product, essentially.’
Just one more. That’s all I can stand. Via Media Matters:
Fox & Friends claimed that alleged White House shooter Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez had been ‘tied to [the] Occupy’ movement, even calling him the ‘ ‘Occupy’ shooter.’ In fact, investigators have reportedly ‘found no connection between him and the Occupy protesters.’
Now for some actual information from Occupy, beginning with Occupy CUNY. Via OWS:
Occupy CUNY and allied protestors who gathered Monday at Baruch College to express opposition to CUNY tuition hikes, unfair labor practices, and privatization were met with an increasingly familiar response: violent suppression of their basic right to dissent. Protestors were barred from attending a so-called ‘public’ meeting of the school’s trustees and ordered to disperse. CUNY security and NYPD moved in with nightsticks drawn, turning a nonviolent protest into a chaotic melee.
The People’s Library also has news about all those books and other materials which were dumped in garbage trucks during last week’s shut down of Zuccotti. Via OWS:
Over 4,000 Books, Documents, Were Trashed by NYPD & Dept. of Sanitation in Raid …
So far, the People’s Library has received 1,099 books back from the Dept. of Sanitation after last week’s raid …, and out of these, about 800 are still usable. About 2,900 books are still unaccounted for, and less than one-fifth of the original collection is still usable. These numbers may change slightly when the People’s Library gets an exact count of the recent (and final) retrievals from Sanitation, but not considerably.
‘The People’s Library was destroyed by NYPD acting on the authority of Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the night of the raid. In addition to all our supplies, laptops, and tent, they threw roughly 4,000 books into garbage trucks and dumpsters that were adjacent to the park, as well as assorted rare documents that were associated with OWS,’ says William Scott, an Occupy Wall Street Librarian.
The events in Egypt are, of course, being closely watched by many in Occupy. From OWS:
As the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces escalates the use of force on protesters at Tahrir, we call for support and solidarity for our brothers and sisters of Tahrir Square. … There will be actions planned so long as the crackdowns continue, starting with a protest today at 5pm in NYC at the Egyptian Consulate … .
Using the precedent of police brutality in Germany and America against the occupations and the take the squares movements, Egyptian state television now proclaims ‘We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people & the German govt against green protesters to secure the state’ … . They have already brutally arrested hundreds, wounded 1700, and murdered 30 protesters.
Finally, the events at UC Davis continue to create waves. The photo above is of the GA at UC Davis, which issued a call for a General Strike. Via OWS:
Occupy UC Davis Calls Nov. 28 General Strike to Shut Down CA Campuses, Block Regents’ Austerity Vote …
The following proposal was passed by a massive general assembly today at UC Davis: …
‘In response to the intolerable effects privatization and austerity and the horrific repression of student dissent that has occurred throughout the last month, the GA, as a governing body of all concerned UC Davis students, will prevent the Board of Regents from continuing its unbridled assault upon higher education in the state of California.
This will entail total campus participation in shutting down the operations of the university on the 28th , including teaching, working, learning, and transportation, as we will collectively divert our efforts to blocking their vote[s]. In doing so students, faculty and workers assert the power—and the will—to effectively represent and manage ourselves.
It’s becoming very clear: you can shut down an Occupied space, but you can’t shut down the Occupiers. And Coulter’s revised history of the results of “Kent State” isn’t going to change that.