Friday, January 27, 2012

Make yourself a public victim to gain support

So Gary North has posted on his website a story about the Occupy D.C. crowd and why they have been allowed to camp for months in McPherson Park. You can read the story here :

While I typically agree with Dr. North, I feel that he has missed the point on this story. He implies that the reason that the occupy protestors haven't been removed is because they are ideologically aligned with the president, and if it were the Tea Party instead of the Occupy movement that they would have been thrown out because of their political difference to the administration. I disagree. I believe that law enforcement, national parks service included, is afraid of the movement because of their ability to communicate news concerning their events, unlike other groups who rely on media coverage to spread news concerning themselves. The authorities are also afraid of the response that could be seen if videos of the park service evicting them would hit the web.

You see, the occupy movement has gained a lot of supporters by portraying itself as victims to police brutality. The videos of police attacking, using "kettling" tactics and  using pepper spray against protesters has created mass support for the occupy protesters, beyond those people who agree with their message, as many people now see the occupy movement as a first amendment issue rather than only a money disparity issue. What the public is not being shown by the police is any activities to justify the violence, and since there has not been videos of that shown, we are left to believe that their actions are meant to silence political dissent, rather than to control "dangerous" protests.

Therefore, the National Parks Service is afraid to become the next group that is seen being bullies, for fear of a public withdraw of support for their organization, for threats that they may be facing by individuals that support the occupy movement, or just because there is a feeling in the administration that if we stop harassing the occupiers that their support will dwindle and fade out. So while Dr. North is correct that they would not treat the Tea Party the same way, it is less to do with the administration's supposed likeness in policy and more to do with the fact that the occupy movement only gets stronger the more authorities push against it, and the fact that the Tea Party hasn't been the subject of police crack-downs.

If the authorities want to stop the occupiers their best tactic would be to leave them alone, so that by allowing them to break the rules the administration will allow the movement to wear itself out and lose steam due to indifference. Once the thrill of fighting "the man" is gone, because "the man" is ignoring you, then you pack up and find a new way to get at the establishment. You find a way that will generate the public's attention, and co-opt their support, because the most popular story in America is that of the underdog with nothing standing up for himself and beating back the top dog who controls everything.

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