5 Bullshit Myths the Right Wing Wants You to Believe About Occupy Wall Street|
1) They're all a Bunch of Liberal Obama Supporters
This was a label tacked onto Occupy Wall Street from day one. Right away, the media tried to pigeonhole OWS as a "left-wing Tea Party." The media loves to divide Americans and make us fight against each other so why not paint an apolitical movement as "left wing democrat" so you can get the Republicans and conservatives foaming at the mouth and loading their deer rifles? Makes for great headlines! The Democrats even fell for it at first and jumped on the OWS bandwagon to offer their support... which immediately petered out once the arrests started and the negative press began. So who are the protesters exactly? Is it truly a liberal movement?
Well, yes and no. Liberalism is a strong element in the movement and polls show that the vast majority of the protesters identify with a liberal ideology. However, at the same time, the protesters are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with both political parties to the point that only one in four claims the Democrat label and the rest are a mix of independents, non-affiliates and yes, even a few Republicans.
In fact, the protesters are so dissatisfied with both political parties that they have refused to let OWS be associated with a party of any kind and least of all, any particular candidate to the point where if you show up at an occupy protest to endorse a candidate or party, you will be politely asked to leave.
I know, I know, it's hard to believe there's a movement out there not attaching itself to any of the bullshit politicians lying to our faces in order to get our votes. It's even harder to believe that the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Tea Party might actually have some things in common!
Imagine if we could harness both the power of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street... it'd be like the final battle of Lord of the Rings... times a billion.
Or like if you crossed the streams
2) They're Don't Know What They Want
This was another big one that was tacked onto Occupy Wall Street from the very beginning also. Thanks to blitzkrieg reporters and TV crews who hunted down the nearest uncomfortable hipsters they could find to shove a mic in their face, the OWS movement got unfairly labeled as a bunch of douchebags who don't know why they're even protesting. According to Fox News, the majority of the people participating in OWS are what you call Paid Professional Protesters.
Now, I've been to a lot of protests in my live ranging from Occupy Wall Street to Oscar Grant to the IMF to CSU budget cuts and you know what? I didn't get paid for a goddamn second of it. Not that I would have said no. I think 10 bucks an hour would be fair, right? Maybe a little health care benefits thrown in there? Dental, vision... paid vacations. Sign me up!
The paid protester's idea of a paid vacation
Unfortunately for Fox (and unfortunately for my dreams of getting paid to protest) the OWS protesters actually DO know why they're out there and they DO have a clear agenda. In fact, during one of my first occupy protests, I was handed a piece of paper titled, "First Official Release from Occupy Wall Street." Among the grievances were unfair corporate bailouts, racial and sexual discrimination in the workplace, exorbitant student debt and tuition increases, the blockage of alternative energy forms, colonialism at home and abroad and the corporate influence of economic policy that results in economic and financial failure.
Now, I dunno about you but those don't sound like unreasonable grievances to me.
It goes on. They want the money out of politics. They want to reform the banking system to prevent fraud. They want to pass laws preventing Congress from passing legislature affecting corporations they're invested in.
These kids aren't stupid. They know what they want. It's only the divisive media and brain dead conservatives that will tell you they don't. If you have any further doubts, I suggest you watch the following video.
3) They're a Bunch of Freeloaders Who Need To Go Out and Get a Job
This is probably the most popular rallying cry for all detractors of Occupy Wall Street. Due to the fact that most of the protesters are seen as being young and liberal, the opposition has automatically made the assumption that, like all socialists, they want something for nothing. The solution? Go out and get a motherfucking job you parasites! Stop leeching off hardworking Americans like Chuck Norris!
Chuck Norris doesn't occupy, he just allows you to exist...
This one is particularly popular amongst GOP candidates and their supporters. One gentleman I spoke to at an occupy rally in California joked that a sure way to get rid of the protesters would be to use a plane to leaflet the camp with job applications. This, he said, would be sure to make those little, lazy, freeloadin' sons of bitches scatter like cockroaches (cue creepy, maniacal laugh).
Wrong, buddy. In fact, you couldn’t be more wrong. Approximately 85% of the protesters actually HAVE jobs compared to 56% of the Tea Party. Of course, the Tea Party is comprised mostly of retired senior citizens and their oxygen tanks that rely on social security to get by (freeloadin’ sons of bitches!) so we can’t really hold that statistic against them.
Not to mention, these are the same people who, for the past three years, have been blaming the woes of the debt increase and economy on Obama. You have to remember though, when THEY complain, it's a valid expression of discontent. When LIBERALS complain about the EXACT SAME THING... well, they're just looking for handouts.
The fact of the matter is, that most of the protesters believe so strongly in what they’re doing that they wake up, go to work, go home and then head for the camps to lend their support. This is what they do; they protest in their spare time. All their spare time. It’s not a hobby.
Unemployment is not a non-issue for this movement though. Many analysts put the actual unemployment rate at near 20%. Is it that easy to find a job these days when 1 out of 5 people are unemployed? Are they all lazy bums who aren’t even trying? Or are they average folks down on their luck doing whatever they can to survive and feed their families? According to Newt Gringrich and the rest of the GOP, they’re definitely the former.
Don't cry to me about getting laid off your job of 30 years, pussy
4) They're a bunch of violent drug addicts.
Over the last month or so, many people have been trying to paint the OWS movement as being violent and out of control, or at the least, being followed by violent people. A frequent reference is to the number of arrests that have been reported so far, which according to unconfirmed reports, have topped 4,000 and are rapidly approaching the 5000 marker. This statistic is often compared the number of Tea Party arrests (because everyone likes the divide and conquer routine) which are reported to be at a whopping zero, which is in fact, complete and utter bullshit. There have been Tea Party arrests stemming from a variety of causes including but not limited to: twittering death threats to cops, pedophilia and child rape, assault with a deadly weapon and drug charges. Wait, I thought the occupiers were supposed to have all the drugs? Hmmm… 90% of Wall Street Workers Use Cocaine.
Now, the arrest tally is not to be brushed aside as it is an important aspect of the OWS movement, as is the fact that the vast majority of the arrests were of NON-VIOLENT PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS. Making a statement by allowing yourself to be arrested without incident in support of something you believe in, is NOT violence. Civil disobedience is a tactic that has been used all over the globe, all throughout history from abolitionism, to the Suffrage Movement, to the Civil Rights Movement to motherfucking Gandhi. Contrary to what the right wing will have you believe, an arrest does not necessarily denote violence.
This doesn't mean your actual arrest won't be violent, however
Still, the righties seem to never lack for ammunition when it comes to depicting OWS as a mob of psychopathic serial killers out for Wall Street blood. One of the most cited incidents is the shooting death of a young man near an occupy camp in Oakland, CA. City officials immediately attempted to link the shooting to the nearby camp (and continue to do so, claiming the victim had previously stayed there) despite the fact that at the time there were repeated claims that no one at the plaza had seen either the victim or the assailant before. Still, Mayor Quan was quick to use the incident against the protesters saying that even if the individuals involved weren't connected with the movement, the camp was drawing undesirable people to the area.
Of course, this IS Oakland, recently announced by the Huffington Post to be the most dangerous city in California and then there's the fact that the shooting occurred in an area of downtown that is frequented by drug users and crime... But nah, those things aren't important. What IS important is those bloody hippies shooting each other at their camps!
Kind of like recently when that dude who thought he was Jesus Christ popped off a few rounds at the Obama's family room because he was convinced that dear old Barry was the antichrist. When Fox News heard about, they nearly jizzed their pants with the idea that the shooter MUST be connected to Occupy D.C. and despite the fact that they've spent months telling us all that the protesters and Obama are butt buddies and are huge fans of the Democratic party, they didn't hesitate for a second to declare a connection to the OWS movement and dubbed the gunman, "The 'Occupy' Shooter."
I'm going to occupy your face with a bullet, bitch
Too bad for Fox, however, it was released the day before their report came out (yes, the DAY BEFORE) that the shooter was in no way related to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Whoops. Responsible journalism? Nah, never heard of it.
5) They're dirty and have diseases
A big concern for city and health officials is the sanitation and disease issues that affect many of the larger occupy camps around the country. Despite that most camps in larger cities have erected medical tents where protesters can get anything from a band aid to a flu shot, many concerns remain, particularly that the camps were dirty, filled with trash and exhibited improper disposal of human waste and with so many people living in an area so close together, diseases are bound to occur. Horrible, dreadful diseases like...
Zuccoti Lung. That's what they're calling the spread of some sort of respiratory disease the consists of... well... coughing? We're not really sure. The symptoms have only been vaguely described as coughing. And sneezing. Kind of like a cold, you know? Only it couldn't just be a cold. No, according to various New York news outlets - including the rather nasty and ornery New York Post - it's a very, very serious issue that could develop into a very serious epidemic. It's ALMOST as bad as those out of control drum circles that can cause severe hearing loss. The fact that there one billion cases of colds in the United States each year shouldn't muddle the fact that the protesters are, in fact, catching colds and that makes them dangerous, disease laden people.
Another commonly cited incident was the tuberculosis outbreak that occurred in the Occupy Atlanta camp. It's gleefully and frequently referred to as an "outbreak" by commentators who evidently never bothered to look up the word "outbreak" and see how their use of the word compares to more logical descriptions of actual outbreaks like in the 80's when they were calling AIDS an "outbreak." Because THIS outbreak, it turns out, consisted of two people - uh huh, TWO people - who reportedly contracted the disease over a period of THREE MONTHS. Oh, and it turns out that the two were homeless, had just been released from jail and had nothing to do with Occupy Atlanta. Sorry guys, the sequel to Contagion is being filmed elsewhere.
Come in contact with an OWS camp and you'll walk away with super AIDS!
This one, however, is my absolute favorite. The New York Post (what is it with the Post and hating OWS?) has raised the claim that OWS protesters are riddled with STDs they acquired from practicing kinky and unsafe sex in the camps! Yup, if you get tested for STDs, then you better be prepared to get smeared by the Post who will describe you as "getting your freak on in 60's style hookups with crusty strangers." Hmm. Crusty strangers?
Mind if I share your tent?
The idea of a movement dominated by young people also consists of individuals who want to get tested for STDs is just absurd, right? Normal people don't get STDs, only social deviants. Visit your local campus health clinic - you'll never see a line of sophomores leading out the door waiting for free gonorrhea tests after a weekend they can barely recall. Not in this country, no sir.