Marching Back to Zuccotti Yesterday
Our mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, is the 12th richest man in America and the richest man in New York City. He also owns a large chunk of the media and its content through his corporation, Bloomberg Media.
So, is it surprising that the mainstream media, including the New York Times, is questioning the strength of the Occupy movement? This, after the military-style raid of Zuccotti Park carried out by New York City cops delegated by Bloomberg early Tuesday morning?
The simplistic and pedantic editorial found on the Bloomberg Media website says it all:
We agree with some of the arguments raised by the Occupy Wall Street protesters and disagree with many more — particularly the divisive, simplistic notion that society is a 99-percent-versus-1-percent dichotomy. But we applaud the discussion that’s been opened, and hope it can turn constructively to the mission of seeing that all Americans have an equal opportunity to succeed.
Bloomberg’s editors claim “an equal opportunity to succeed” for all Americans. Can they tell that to children born in the vast ghettos of this country, the ones starving, the ones that live in food deserts and the ones that are grossly less educated?
Is it surprising that Bloomberg Media’s stance is this idea that we in America all begin on equal footing? No. But it is inaccurate as well as “divisive” and “simplistic.” How about these statistics, Mr. Bloomberg? 46.2 million Americans live below the poverty line and 14.5 percent of American households are defined as food insecure. The Guardian website features a short video regarding these statistics and others.
Yesterday, Occupy Big Food marched down Broadway with protesters returning to the park, cops on motorcycles, armed to the gills and nipping at our heels with their weapons and vehicles. Though surrounded, the group persevered, drawing in more and more followers along the route. The mood was powerful, tense and somber, but relentlessly optimistic. It’s not about a park or one day or even one idea. The chant that was constantly heard was “This. Is. A peaceful protest.” And it was. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about OWS to this point is its ability to keep the peace. And keep going.