The Occupy Movement sprung back into public view last night the only way they knew how--by staging a violent clash with police on the streets. Like a spoiled child who has learned that throwing a temper tantrum is the only way to get attention, the movement used the confluence of the six-month anniversary of the start of Occupy Wall Street and the intoxicated party atmosphere of St. Patrick’s Day to launch an attempted re-taking of Zuccotti Park. The move was predictable because Occupy had openly discussed a few weeks ago that they needed more ‘direct actions’ as way to refill their dwindling financial coffers.
Just as predictable as the chaos. however, was the reaction of the media. Take the politically active Buzzfeed, where the article title tells you what you need to know: Occupy Arrests Are Good News For The Movement.
The clash last night between New York police and members of Occupy Wall Street was the best thing to happen to the protest movement in months.
The flagship New York branch of the leaderless movement attempted to re-occupy Zuccotti Park last night to mark the movement's six-month anniversary. Police arrested 73 people as they removed protesters from the park, which is owned by a local real estate company.
The movement, left for dead by the press for months, is back in the news and on Twitter today. Protesters have been staging direct actions all winter but none have made headlines outside of advocacy journalism outlets until now. And that's because last night resulted in dramatic photos and a considerable number of arrests — the kind of outcome that, as loath as most protesters are to admit it, is more likely to get them covered by reporters than a protest involving putting living room furniture in a bank branch, for example. And more media attention means an uptick in energy for the protesters, and vice versa.
"I think the past week the energy has been consistently ramping up," said organizer Max Berger.
Of course, these latest clashes were completely predictable to anyone paying attention to Occupy because they said they needed to do them to raise funds. This came up less than a month ago, in a February 24th proposal entitled "Proposal to Spend Remaining NYCGA Funds Exclusively on Actions."
Occupy Wall Street is not about money. Occupy Wall Street is about action. So lets spend our money on action.
If accepted, this proposal would mandate that every dollar remaining in the NYCGA’s account, outside of the bail fund, be used exclusively on actions.
This is the Occupy Business Plan: antagonizing the police is good for business and will be supported by the media. And, unfortunately, the Obama administration.
And spring hasn't even started yet.