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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Growing pains

The arrest of Occupy Boston protesters early this morning on the Greenway may represent a PR setback, but it's clear the movement is picking up steam -- and getting the attention of Washington.

The largely peaceful arrests feed the story line being pumped out by an increasingly nervous Hard Right who see the organic movement as a potential counterweight to the AstroTurf Tea Party funded by the Koch Brothers.

The right has been quick to label their bete noire, ACORN, as the moving force behind the rallies, even though ACORN filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy a year ago after being hounded by the Right.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor used the inappropriately named Values Voter Summit to label the peaceful assemblies as a "mob." Never mind that Occupy protesters across the nation don't pack the firepower seen at Tea Party rallies.

What has gotten the attention of Cantor and his crew are the stories being offered by the social media-sophisticated crew. And the attention in turn that has come from Democrats looking to counterbalance the outsized attention afforded the Tea Party since it burst on the scene two years ago as an anti-Obama movement.

Americans abhor unruly images of protesters clashing with police and the Boston incident will likely be a setback. But I suspect it will only be temporary, as were similar scenes played out in New York.

The reason? This is a growing movement which is media savvy. If the arrests prove to be a misstep, it's likely it will be countered in some visible way. Of course, a strong early morning Twitter sentiment suggests it was the police who overreacted.

One thing is certain: the whole world is watching.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would grant that both are grass root movements. The TP wants less government. The Occupy people seem to want pot legalized and their student loans forgiven. Noone guaranteed (or should) a job making 100,000 a year for a BA in political science.

October 11, 2011 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In every movement, there are knuckleheads who get taken up by the frenzy and go off the reservation from reasonable to foolish. Calling for legalized marijuana and forgiveness of student loans are two examples of that. Forgotten are the economic circumstances that led to those debts, and the disappearance of jobs (no, not guaranteed $100K ones) to pay for them. In its place are college graduates working as bank tellers, multiple part time jobs to keep the wolf from the door, and a general feeling that all the work was for naught. There are real reasons why this movement came about, and those who can remember back to Viet Nam, the last time "wild haired youths" got involved in a political process this fundamental, should pay heed.

October 11, 2011 10:15 AM  

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