Extremists in Guy Fawkes masks, Code Pinkers and "professional anarchists," have camped out in New York City to protest Wall Street, greed and the capitalist system. Through social media the first protest in New York's financial district has sparked copycat protests in more than a hundred cities.
In a video posted on The Blaze, organizer Nelini Stamp made it clear that what she wants is "to change the capitalist system that we have today because it's not working for any of us." Moments later she said the conversation needed to begin about how "to reform and bring, you know, sort of revolutionary change to the States." She also labeled the OWS events part of a "new age radical movement."
Yet that is not the sense you'd get from reading stories about the protest in national newspapers or watching ABC, CBS and NBC. In those stories, you'll barely hear the word "liberal" mentioned in connection with the protesters, much less the more appropriate "socialist" label. Out of 69 national news reports (newspaper and broadcast) about "Occupy Wall Street" or "wall street protests," only eight stories have used described the protesters or protests with words indicative of the left-wing extremism represented. That's only 12 percent of the time.
Protester complaints reported by The New York Times ranged from the absurd: "I want to get rid of the combustion engine," (a man named John McKibben said,) to the genuinely sad: "[I am] extremely disappointed and angry that I have no future," 22-year-old student Sid Gurung told the Times.
But the socialist cry for "a more equal economy" and government handouts that seem to be the overwhelming theme of the protests which have been livestreamed online from "Global Revolution." Despite that, national newspapers and the three broadcast networks have ignored or downplayed the left-wing extremism of the protests by focusing instead on the camaraderie and "street-fair" like feeling of protests.
The Business & Media Institute analyzed coverage in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and on ABC, CBS and NBC and found that out of 44 newspaper stories about the protests only eight used any of the following words to describe the protests or protesters: liberal, left-wing, radical, extreme, communist, socialist, anarchist, revolutionary or progressive.
The 25 network broadcast reports on the protests didn't use any of them, although one report did quote a protester who declared: "This is the beginning of the people's revolution." Two additional reports suggested that without a leader the "rage" of the protests might turn to "revolution." Opinion pieces and stories that mentioned the protests, but were focused on other topics were not included in the analysis.
Occupiers Angry about Debt, Foreclosures, Outsourcing and Income Inequality
The "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City" reveals how far left-wing the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) crowd really is, despite the media's praise of them as "noble" and well-intentioned. The Los Angeles Times actually claimed on Oct. 6 that "the leaderless organization" has "few specific demands." Clearly that newspaper hasn't been listening to the protesters.
The OWS's long list of complaints against corporations (some of which really don't make sense) included: "illegal foreclosures," bailouts and bonuses, "inequality and discrimination in the workplace," a "poisoned" food supply, the monopolization of farming, cruelty to animals, holding "students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right," outsourcing, "block alternate forms of energy," "block generic forms of medicine" and many others.
Yet there has been very little criticism of the protests among the national newspapers and three broadcast networks and plenty of lighthearted descriptions. USA Today called it a "carnival atmosphere." The Washington Post said it "had the feeling of a street fair." The Los Angeles Times said on Sept. 30, the "settlement has gelled into an organized community that hums along almost Zen-like …" Nevermind that the protesters are illegally squatting in a private park, offending neighbors and local businesses with noise, trash and displays of exhibitionism.
Ginia Bellafante of The New York Times called the Occupy Wall Street effort "a noble but fractured and airy movement of rightly frustrated young people," on Sept. 25. While there are some legitimate frustrations being expressed by OWS protestors, they seek to blame banks and capitalism for everything, rather than the government for its involvement in the financial collapse. Many of them want the government to take from corporations and rich people and give them handouts.
The three broadcast networks have gushed over the left-wingers by calling it the "protest of this current era." Funny, the networks didn't think that about the conservative grassroots movement called the Tea Party. The news media ridiculed, obscenely nicknamed and attempted to discredit the Tea Party movement.
But the networks like this radical left-wing protest effort. On NBC October 5, correspondent Mara Schiavocampo gushed, "Three weeks in, and no signs of slowing. The 'Occupy Wall Street' protest growing in size and scope." Onscreen NBC declared: "Gaining Ground; 'Occupy Wall Street' Protests Spreading."
Signs of Extremism
If you're in doubt that OWS rallies are fueled by an entitlement mentality or that these protesters want the government to forcibly take from the rich (or worse), just listen to what some OWS protesters and their supporters say.
The We Are the 99 Percent website which shares individuals' stories includes complaints like "Knowledge should be free," "Teachers don't get the support and pay they deserve," "My high-speed internet and new car loan are likewise CRUSHING me …" and "I work for a Fortune 100 Company. My manager makes literally 10x more money than I do …"
One Occupy Chicago protester, complete in Guy Fawkes mask, held up a sign that warned: "Hungry People Don't Stay Hungry for long. They get Hope from fire and smoke as the weak grow strong."
Another sign at that protest read: "One day the poor will have nothing to eat but the rich."
Anti-capitalist and anti-bank signs abound at the protests including: "Capitalism is the Crisis," "Nazi Banks," "Tax the Billionaires" and "Capitalism Cannot be Reformed." Violent imagery like signs that depicted a tie turned into a noose could also be found. Other extremists signs like "End financial aid to Israel" and "America Failed As a Society Because of So Called Christians" also turn up in an image search for Occupy Wall Street protests.
Far left-wing billionaire George Soros and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, have made statements supportive of the protests. Actress and comedian Roseanne Barr showed her support by appearing at the New York protest. In an interview with Russia Today about OWS and bankers, Barr said, "I am in favor of the return of the guillotine," for the "worst of the worst of the guilty." She said she believes in a "maximum wage of $100 million."
While that might sound extreme, Barr's views fit right in at the protests. Some of the people protesting (or supporting the protests) actually want the violent destruction or overthrow of the capitalism system, like the Bolshevik revolution.
The loose-knit anarchist hacker group Anonymous joined the Occupy Wall Street movement in August, long before people showed up to occupy a park in New York City on Sept. 17. In an Oct. 1 video from AnonGuyNYC the creepy voice coming from behind a Guy Fawkes costume declared that "bankers are the problem." He called international bankers the "scum of the earth" and argued they have to be "brought to account." One of several possibilities he mentioned was "a real run on Wall Street where the public goes into their offices and dispenses frontier justice on their person."
With such an unorganized group of nameless individuals it is impossible to know if AnonGuyNYC is really part of Anonymous or simply adopting its theatrics to make a point. Certainly, Anonymous has plans to deal with Wall Street. ABC News.com (and other news organizations) reported the threat from Anonymous to "erase" the New York Stock Exchange from the Internet on Oct. 10.