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View Diary: Occupy Retrospection: What Have We Learned? (88 comments)

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  •  There is another lesson that I hope we have (8+ / 0-)

    learned: Whether or not you have 1 leader, a panel of leaders or only local leaders, you MUST have SPOKESPEOPLE to take advantage of a moment such as OWS offered.

    There was no one to articulate the message, even the most general or localized of messages. OWS could have done worse than to draft Dorli for more, or the girl on the Brooklyn Bridge, or the UC Davis students -- you get the idea.

    The "media" is used to having spokespeople, press releases or at least bullet points, advance notice of events, basic tools with which to cover a story. You can rail at the "MSM" and complain that they are all corporate stooges, but, they HAD to cover OSW. It was the big story. They were eager to do it. It was a wasted opportunity.

    Since, after many weeks, OSW did not rise to the occasion to communicate a coherent message(s) via dependable, locatable, interviewable and repeatable spokespeople, they told the story as they could, betraying their exasperation and impatience with the whole thing and pointing cameras where the most heat was, instead of the most light. Very few were available to use the megaphone the press offered.

    It's a sad loss. Our democracy can't really afford such a waste.

    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 04:17:40 PM PDT

    •  There are a number of voices that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSWright, 714day, shaharazade

      are in the media, although only occasionally, that came out of OWS.  The only problem with that is that there was an expectation of "one demand", and really we should have nipped that in the bud earlier than we did.  Live and learn.

      At the same time, the corporate media was not the intended audience.  We wanted people to show up and all we really had to do was show how serious we were and that we wanted people who were pissed and hurting because of the system as it is and then we could start talking without the media frame.  We could meet these people who showed up and had real grievances and had media outlet that would listen to them and talk about how things were rigged in such a way as to make those outcomes more likely.  There's really not a way to make an event press friendly when a big part of the message is that we need to stop relying on the press so much because the press has lost all legitimacy.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 05:50:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The press was covering regardless. It's a question (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, 714day

        of our using them or having to accept what they do based upon other influences.

        Agreed:

        there was an expectation of "one demand", and really we should have nipped that in the bud earlier than we did.  Live and learn.

        Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

        by Catskill Julie on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 06:01:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, the press was covering it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade

          But there was no message we could have spread to get the point across that we wanted more direct involvement from people that they wouldn't have sabotaged.  The corporate media has many ways to ignore messages that threaten it, tailoring your message to the media means you can't address that issue.

          But, yeah, we screwed that whole "one demand" thing up.  Can't argue with that.

          The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 06:30:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I get where this argument comes from, but I'm... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      not buying it. The MSM seeks out spokespeople and man-on-the-street interviews to flesh out its story lines, not to challenge its thinking. OWS started on the Style pages and police blotter, and that's where it was going to stay.

      The message was clear, whether you were talking to the extensive media team, reading the signs or just paying attention to the location. Wall Street is creating an unequal, unjust society. We, the 99%, no longer buy its ideology. Andrew Ross Sorkin was the perfect embodiment of this non-thinking. He went to discover whether OWS was a threat to his friends on Wall Street, and that's all he's written about since.

      The dual purpose of the excessive, militarized police response was a) scare the crap out of citizens and b) give the media something more exciting to write about.

      Finally, I always think it's worth noting that we don't expect this level of PR and policy polish from any similarly young organization. This wasn't even its freshman year, it was more like its prenatal year. It may not have been ready for prime time, but I'd submit that even a primal scream is preferable when all else is just nation-killing conventional wisdom.

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