Human Events Blog

Occupy Wall Street launches its “spring offensive”

Occupy Wall Street fell off the national radar screen some time ago, leaving its once-eager patrons in the Democrat Party to shuffle their feet and nervously avert their gaze from all the rapes, vandalism, and violence perpetrated by the “mostly peaceful” movement (as the media tends to describe them.)  Fresh headlines were needed, so the Occupiers returned to ground zero – New York’s Zuccotti Park – and staging another illegal “occupation.”

Reuters is still willing to go to bat for the movement by throwing in an “Arab Spring” comparison – the sort of narrative symbiosis they would never, ever facilitate for the Tea Party:

Inspired by the pro-democracy Arab Spring, the Wall Street protesters targeted U.S. financial policies they blamed for the yawning income gap between rich and poor in the country, between what they called the 1 percent and the 99 percent. The demonstrators set up camp in Zuccotti Park on September 17 and sparked a wave of protests across the United States.

On Saturday evening, several dozen police ringed the park and watched the crowd. Detective Brian Sessa said no action would be taken as long as the activists made no move to establish a camp.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m., some protesters began to erect tents near the center of the park and police began to move in, according to protester Cari Machet.

When about 100 officers entered the park, dozens of protesters sat on the ground and refused orders to leave. They were then carried out in plastic handcuffs and put in police vehicles.

The park was cleared within 20 minutes and by midnight no protesters remained in its boundaries.

(Emphasis mine.)  Occupiers tend to carry signs declaring their solidarity with the Arab Spring.  It’s awfully nice of the media to take this at face value, without pointing out the rather salient differences.

Here’s how the Occupiers kept the already overstretched NYPD busy over the weekend:

Events got under way near midday on Saturday, with street theater troupes performing and guitar players leading sing-alongs. Some boisterous protesters marched through the streets of the financial district, chanting “bankers are gangsters” and cursing at police.

As they have in past marches, protesters led police on a series of cat-and-mouse chases. Marchers at the front of the crowd would suddenly turn down narrow side streets, startling tourists and forcing police to send officers on motor scooters to contain the crowd.

Occupy Wall Street is hardly the first movement to seek attention through street theater.  They’re too incoherent to perpetuate their movement through calmer methods of discourse, or the sort of polite public gathering the Tea Party is noted for… by people who have actually attended them.  The media, of course, filled the airwaves with dire tales of apocryphal and astroturfed incidents, portraying the Tea Part as forever on the verge of becoming what Occupy Wall Street is.

The veneer of lawlessness, compulsion, and paranoia surrounding Occupy, built right into the very concept of defying the law to ”occupy” public places for long periods of time, leads some of the movement’s followers to become a bit… over-enthusiastic.  The NYPD is investigating one of the protesters for a breezy discussion of cop-killing on Twitter, as reported by NewsCore:

“We won’t make a difference if we don’t kill a cop or 2,” Twitter user “Smackema1″ posted about 11:40pm with a link to Ustream, which was showing footage of the protests at the Lower Manhattan park where “Occupy Wall Street” began last September, the New York Post reported.

The author also posted several other comments Saturday about the protests, the New York Daily News reported, and police are now seeking a subpoena to help them discover who was behind the tweet, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

An anonymous man claiming to be behind the tweets later defended them to the Daily News, saying, “It’s not like I meant anything of it. Who takes anything like that seriously? I’m in Florida, what am I going to do?”

He said he had never attended an “Occupy Wall Street” protest, but had followed them online.

Police also said Sunday they were separately investigating threats made to two cops and their families.

If the anonymous blowhard from Florida turns out to be the author of the tweets, he’ll soon be described as another of the many, many “rogue elements” that somehow become attached to this “mostly peaceful” movement, as will those who threatened the two cops and their families.

There are still a few semi-permanent Occupy camps out there.  At the camp in New Haven, Connecticut, another sexual assault occurred last week.  The “rogue element” in this case was a registered sex offender.  Actually, the Occupiers claim the victim was a “rogue element,” too – they’re just homeless people who happened to wander up to the Occupation and pitch their tents.  The Occupiers were ordered to tear down their camp, but their claim that continuing defiance of the law to create a dangerous and unsanitary environment is somehow essential to their “free speech rights” earned them a two-week reprieve from a judge.

The Occupy organizers always promised they would be back.  They’ll need a few big media events to keep their engines idling until the 2012 general election gets into full swing.  Their role goes beyond active participation in partisan politics, although their criticism of President Obama’s extensive Wall Street ties is likely to remain muted.  A revived Occupy circus in the fall will be useful for parrying any public demonstrations the Tea Party might make, but they also serve an important ideological purpose, which can be easily co-opted by the mainstream Left if the Occupiers don’t get with the program themselves.

At its heart, the Occupiers are anarchists, and anarchists are always the handmaidens of socialism.  Their narrative of Americans trapped forever beneath the heel of vast, predatory financial forces will prove useful to those who campaign for bigger government and more regulation, no matter how the exact wording on their sandwich boards might read.

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