I noticed something in yesterday’s news coverage of the Occupy protests yesterday (May Day): Most of it was about violence, anarchists, destruction, protesters smashing windows, police making arrests… in other words, a slew of negative stories.
I follow a whole lot of news outlets and journalists on Twitter, and nearly every one of them tweeted headlines like those. Several of us were tweeting back, asking where the positive reports about the Occupiers were, because, after all, the M.O. of the original Occupy Wall Street movement was non-violent, even thoughtful and creative, demonstrations against social and economic inequality, corporate influence on government, greed, and the wealth gap between the richest 1% of Americans and 99% of the population who are struggling to make ends meet.
The only news I saw that reflected the mostly peaceful day of protest were from fellow bloggers and activists, and one from the L.A. Times.
When I opened my morning L.A. Times today, in fact, the headlines I saw were “5 in Cleveland charged with planning to blow up bridge on May Day” and Seattle May Day protest marked by vandalism, arrests.
Buried in the Cleveland story was this:
The suspect, identified as Doug Wright, 26, described himself as an anarchist and complained about Occupy’s unwillingness to take violent action.
When one of the demonstration’s organizers said the Occupiers wanted no more than peaceful civil disobedience, one member of the [anarchist] group near Wright walked away in disgust, cursing.
So, news media, where were your headlines informing readers that Occupy is a peaceful movement that is so “unwilling to take violent action” that a disgusted anarchist felt compelled to curse?