Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Hijacking a movement

Its been said quite often "First the Palestinians hijacked airplanes. Now they hijack movements". Observers on the social justice scene have been placing bets on just when the "destroy Israel" crowd (oh, pardon, The "Human rights for Palestinians through the destruction of Israel" cru) would claim the movement for their own.

Its already happening.

From an Oct 1 post at NYC Indymedia
Michael Letwin, an organizer for NYC Labor against War claimed a primary goal of the "Occupy Wall Street" was to end unfair treatment of Muslims

"In addition to what they view as excessive force and unfair treatment of minorities, including Muslims, the movement is also protesting against home foreclosures, high unemployment and the 2008 bailouts. . . . The group has gained support among some union members. The United Federation of Teachers and the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which has 38,000 members, are among those pledging solidarity. "

He went on to assert
"Occupy Wall Street protesters driven by varying goals ‎"End financial aid to Israel"; "End greed, end poverty, end war"; "No death penalty"; "Tired of racism."

This prompted a rebuttal from another participant: "This has nothing to do with Israel, Michael "

Omar Barghouti also attempts to link the movements, declaring

"So as you break your own chains and build your own effective resistance against corporate tyranny, we ask you to demand a just peace for all the peoples in the Middle East, based on international law and equal human rights. Palestinians, too, are part of the 99% around the world that suffer at the hands of the 1% whose greed and ruthless quest for hegemony have led to unspeakable suffering and endless war. Corporate power has not just profited from our suffering but has colluded in maintaining Israel’s occupation and apartheid to perpetuate an unjust order that profits oil and military companies and multinational financial institutions."

Could this manipulation of the message also be responsible for another insidious phenomenon noted on the streets?

There have been widespread reports of anti-Semitism within the "Occupy Wall Street " Movement. The one-minute video, viewed over 30,000 times documents some of the incidents and signage that have been problematic. Jews are blamed for the trouble in American financial markets and are told to "go back to Israel."

Bill Weinberg documents this as well, in his blog New Jewish Resistance , stating, "We are as encouraged as everyone else about the Occupy Wall Street movement—but we continue to be disturbed by anti-Semitic elements within the movement, and even more disturbed by the fact that nobody else seems disturbed by it."

Nathalie Rothschild, after reporting on the movement Supporters of the Wall Street Occupation Demand Free Expression -- Except for Jews, Apparently has written

"I received a string of indignant emails and tweets about my Jewish, kleptocrat banking connections; demands that I reveal the details of my pay checks and that I come clean about my not-so-hidden agenda. I was told that my family name disqualifies me from having any opinion about the protest and that I have 'the karma of a demon'."

Those of us who cut our teeth on the civil rights movement know that the cardinal rule has always been "No Tolerance to Bigotry" . Unless "Occupy Wall Street" wants to go down the path of International ANSWER- the path of irrelevance- thats a lesson they should take to heart.


Anonymous said...

The usual suspects are using attempting to use the Occupy movement to promote their agenda:

Friday, October 28 · 12:00pm - 3:00pm

San Francisco United Nations Plaza
Join the Muslim community at Friday prayers and Sermon (Khutbah) in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street Movement and for raising our collective voices for a more just society.

Sermon by Dr. Hatem Bazian, Zaytuna College and UC Berkeley

Time: 1:30-2:30PM

Bring prayer mates to use and share with others at the event. All people are welcome and after the prayers we will march down to join the movement at the Federal Reserve Building in San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

Janet Kobren, one of the ISM flotidiots is also involved in the Occupy movement. She just sent out this self congratulatory email

Subject: Live streaming OccupyOakland

Hi Guys ~

Some of you were at tonight's (Monday's) OccupyOakland rally/march. For those of you interested in viewing the raw footage of the live feeds I did of it, go to

At one point I was shocked to learn that there were something like 500 people watching my channel, including several identified from NYC, Chicago and Toronto, without my doing anything to attract viewers.

Please forgive the blurriness and shakiness of my smartphone camera. Besides my inexperience and power/battery issues, there are just some relatively minor technical and coordination issues to resolve and I will soon have it integrated into the channel which is part of the network. I want to thank people at the Labortech conference this past summer and also some OWS and OccupySF folks, especially Pamela.

I'm still new to OccupyOakland and am in the process of finding their live stream team so I can be part of it. Live (real-time) feeds with accompanying live chats are very compelling and this is how I learned about OccupyWallStreet on September 19. I've been hooked ever since and watched the Brooklyn Bridge action live on the OWS channel (globalrevolution, now occupywallstnyc). The network started out with the OWS live streaming and now includes channels nation- and world-wide. This is a truly democratic media where we can not only see and hear what is going on real-time (un-mediated), almost like reality TV but without the manipulation, but people have the opportunity to speak their minds uncensored and listeners/watchers can interact via the associated chats. This is what can and should replace the dominant, corporate-owned, mediated media coverage. It's also a great outreach and fundraising/material-needs-communication mechanism.

I only wish I were 30 years younger and didn't have to eat, sleep or use a rest room.

More to come.

~ Janet