Police Arrest Protesters at May Day March In New York City; In the Background Is the Dropped Sign Reading, “It’s Not a Crisis; It’s a Scam”
If you’ve spent any time at all on this web site, you know that a seven word poster – “It’s Not a Crisis, It’s a Scam” – neatly sums up what myself, Matt Taibbi, Paul Craig Roberts, Yves Smith, Ellen Brown, and Mike Krauss have devoted millions of words attempting to convey to the American public. Barry Ritholtz has also greatly advanced the topic as have many others.
Despite the veracity of the poster, a number of protesters from among the May Day marchers in New York City today were cuffed and jailed by the NYPD as they marched behind the sign. The police will not, at this time, give the tally of arrests.
OPINION ~ So, Occupy got it together for May Day – at least, in New York City. You would never know it, though, from mainstream news: those reports were full of what I call the “erectile dysfunction” narrative, the default narrative in American new coverage of mass protest. “Why Occupy May Day Fizzled”, as CNN had it: flaccid efforts, always in “drenching rain”, that may be well-intentioned but have no staying power.
But if you click onto the new site Occupy.com – or if you actually went to the rally held in the late afternoon in Union Square – it was a very different story: thousands of euphoric protesters, a massive sound stage, edgy hip-hop artists who had created Occupy anthems that were euphorically received by the crowd, and representation by dozens of community groups and unions in Manhattan. In other words – if built on further – a power base. Maydaysolidarity2012.org showed a coalition of what must be 30 unions and community groups, ranging from the Domestic Workers United, to New York Immigration Coalition, to Veterans for Peace Chapter Three, to the journalists’ union, the National Writers’ Union.
It seems Occupy has spent the winter changing its strategy – and building coalitions with existing community groups on the ground. This has paid off handsomely, at least as far as the May Day rally demonstrated. Because they had organized with a real city power base – the unions, without which Mayor Bloomberg can’t function, and which his “designated successor”, Christine Quinn, needs to have on her side – there was a world of improvement in their reach and effectiveness.