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Please begin with an informative title:

One of the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis is called Common Sense by Dan Carlin, and I highly recommend the most recent episode about the shortcomings of the PR campaign on behalf of Occupy Wall Street. The associated discussion board is here and has a whole slew of comments both for and against the views in the episode.

Quick plot summary: Dan is in favor of the OWS movement, but thinks they are going about it all wrong. In particular, he points out that the movement is doing a terrible job of getting most of the 99% on board with the protests. He gives as an example the fact that the big spring action was timed for May 1st, which made it easy for opponents (and, crucially, the media) to dismiss this as a bunch of Socialist/Communist dissidents trying to take down America. I agree with his point that it doesn't matter if you think this is a valid criticism; what matters is how it plays in Peoria.

He then follows with an excellent idea for a protest that would have much better TV presence. Get 25,0000 people at a rally to unite around going door-to-door in a mega-upscale neighborhood to collect donations for a food-bank. Regardless of how it goes (either you have video of OWS doing something clearly good, or you have video of the cops stopping you from asking Ritchie Rich for some more gruel) you end up looking good on TV.

More below the Orange Squiggle of Infighting


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One of his major points, which I agree with, is that there needs to be tighter control over the activities at the protests. First, you need to keep out the people who show up with extremist signs (on either side), or stuff like abortion rights that is inflammatory without being germane to the point of the protest. Having that material at the protest gives the TV people an easy hook for the 30-second story that they air, and none of the good stuff gets covered.

You also need to have a better-looking response to the window-breaking anarchists. Any sort of visible resistance to the vandalism, or an immediate response of trying to help out the people who have been victimized, makes it clear that these are in fact outside trouble-makers and not a real part of the movement.

Dan does a better job of explaining this than I do, so I strongly recommend you go check it out. He's undoubtedly more Libertarian than most of you are going to be happy with, but his point that if you're going to get to a Million Person March on Wall Street you need a broader base is right on target.

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