Helping the protesters
By David Atkins
It's no secret that the protesters on Wall Street are actively being marginalized by the press. Of course, it's also no secret that the protesters themselves are doing an effective job of self-marginalization as well through a lack of focus on media management, goal orientation and message coordination. One of the challenges of the protest movement on the left is resistance to the forms of coordinated discipline that maximize the efficacy of group action.
But this also isn't exactly the fault of the protesters. The reality is that labor orgs, Democratic clubs and central committees and other left-leaning organizations should be putting the full weight of their money, messaging and organaizing capacity into a directly anti-wall street movement. In the absence of that, particularly in New York, the action is left to a ragtag bunch of college kids and disparate activists with little in the way of media skills and organizational experience. That makes it prime fodder for very marginal groups with their own agendas to glom onto the protests for their own ends.
What needs to happen is that whatever organizational capacity exists on the left in New York that hasn't already been bought out by the financial sector, needs make itself useful, get off the sidelines and step in to help these brave people out. Ultimately we get the movement we deserve, and if only the oddest ducks are willing to put themselves on the line for actions like this, it's hard to complain too much about the marginalization of the left.
You can follow the action, provide advice and assistance (including buying them food) through resources available through the #occupywallstreet and #takewallstreet hashtags on twitter.