Videos are streaming into YouTube of Occupy Wall Street protesters running rampant through the streets of New York last night, overturning barricades, assaulting and taunting police officers, climbing public monuments. These videos have been posted in support of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager killed by George Zimmerman in Florida. The riots themselves took place in support of Martin; they’re supposedly a part of Occupy’s “Million Hoodie March.”
Meanwhile, the mainstream media has said virtually nothing. Only the foreign press has picked up on the fact that OWS broke into random acts of violent vandalism over Martin. The Guardian, for example, reported:
A contingent of demonstrators made their way to Times Square while another headed south into the financial district. The southbound march grew increasingly raucous as it carried on into the night. One young man was seen running over the hood and roof of a moving car as it slowly approached the march. He stepped on the sun-roof of the vehicle, shattering the glass.
Shortly after, the march, then reduced to approximately 200, arrived at the iconic Wall Street bull statue at Bowling Green Park. Since Occupy Wall Street protests began last year, the sculpture has been penned in by police barricades. As demonstrators surrounded the bull, a young man began pulling a section of the barricades down. As the police moved in his direction, other demonstrators followed suit and within moments all of the barricades were removed.
A man quickly scrambled onto the back of the bronze statue, raised his fist and yelled, “I am Trayvon Martin.”
Where’s the commentary from the mainstream media? Nowhere to be found. The New York Times admits it had reports at the rally, but restricted its report to the following line: “the rally broke into at least three different marches, with some people heading downtown while others headed north toward the United Nations.” The Los Angeles Times, by contrast, praised the social networking explosion of the Million Hoodie March.
In the leftist press, however, conflict seems to have broken out. Salon.com endorsed the violence, with Natasha Lennard (the former freelance New York Times reporter who trained Occupiers on tape) writing:
It might at first seem confusing that a solidarity march over justice for a murdered Florida teen would involve mass support from Occupy Wall Street. But those who still see Occupy as limited to contesting corporate greed and the influence of money in politics have fallen behind the movement. Occupy actions take aim at all oppressive, hierarchical systems — capitalism and racism (and their interplay) among them. Indeed, a popular printed-out sign held by many on Wednesday’s march read, “You can’t have capitalism without racism.”
Even a few OWS fans are decrying the behavior of Occupy, with a columnist at PolicyMic writing:
Combine the activist acumen of Occupy Wall Street and the focus and fervor behind the Trayvon Martin rallies and we’ve hit the sweet spot. But OWS has lost its way. As I write this on Wednesday night, 300 NYPD officers, including second in command to Commissioner Ray Kelly, are preparing to arrest protesters. And the good energy surrounding the Trayvon Martin rally has all but evaporated.
So why hasn’t the media caught onto the fact that Occupy Wall Street is violent? They have. They just don’t want to report it. That would spoil their narrative about Rush Limbaugh, incivility, and the brilliant shining light that is Occupy. Instead, police officers will continue to have to take the brunt of the Occupy Wall Street random rage.