Monday, 17 October 2011

A Somewhat Alternative View of the Wall St. Protests

By Richard Edmondson

Is there not something fishy about this? CNBC, a satellite/cable station devoted principally to business reporting and which played a pivotal role in the rise of the Tea Party, has been providing extensive coverage of the Wall Street protests ( here , here , here , here , here, and here are occupation stories which appeared on CNBC’s website over a two-day period—Thursday October 13 thru Friday, October 14).

To be sure, much of their coverage has a condescending tone to it, but the usual mainstream media protocol vis-à-vis protests in America is to ignore them outright. Now we are seeing something strikingly different. And of course CNBC isn’t alone. Virtually all the mainstream media have joined the let’s-cover-the-occupation bandwagon. So why such a dramatic departure from the norm? Well one answer could be that the protests have spread to multiple cities, so that makes it newsworthy. But there were multiple protests at the outset of the Gulf War in 1991, and again at the second Iraq war in 2003, and neither of those wave of protests garnered this much attention.

Another reason could be that since the media gave such excessive coverage to the much more recent protests in the Middle East, they’re now scared that ignoring similar protests here will become a suitcase full of hypocrisy too conspicuous for them to conceal any longer. But seriously? When has anyone in the U.S. government or media ever worried about looking like a hypocrite?

Getting back to CNBC—not only do we have a story on What Life Is Like for the Protesters, but the station has even gone so far as to inform us that the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company is now supporting the protests as well, with reporter Cindy Perman scooping up a quote taken from the B & J website: “To those who occupy: We stand with you.” An interesting couple of paragraphs then follow in Perman’s story:

At first it may seem a bit ironic — after all, Ben & Jerry’s is owned by Unilever [UN 34.04 Description: <a" /> 0.84 (+2.53%) , a massive multinational corporation with a market cap of about $50 billion.
At heart, however, they’re still a couple of socially minded guys from Vermont who set out to make really tasty ice cream in a refurbished gas station — and not screw up America in the process.

For CNBC, of course, not screwing up America means not taxing the rich or imposing regulations to curb the power of corporations. So what gives?

Another thing slightly strange about all this is the image which has essentially become the “logo” of the protest movement:

Who created it and how is it that within a space of a few months it emerged from the Cimmerian shade of alternative fringe culture to the point where we began seeing it virtually everywhere? The mask is a byproduct of the 2006 movie V for Vendetta, staring Zionist Hollywood actress Natalie Portman, who can be seen in the photo below strolling lower Manhattan with billionaire Nat Rothschild of the Rothschild banking empire.

Interesting alignment the photographer happened to capture—with the two Israel supporters casually ambling past a shop window bearing the word “euphoria.” The V for Vendetta movie was based upon the 1980s-era comic book series of the same name, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd, who in turn seem to have drawn inspiration from the historical figure Guy Fawkes, who was part of a Catholic plot to blow up the English House of Lords in 1605. Interesting how the image has evolved over the years.

Illustration from the novel, Guy Fawkes, by William Harrison Ainsworth,
published in 1840

1980s comic book cover

Fawkes has been referred to as “the only man ever to enter Parliament with honest intentions,” and that may or may not be the case. But between then and now we see a curious reversal of the role played by certain “anonymous” personages—with the “Anonymous” of today pitted against the entrenched powers of corporations and government. But in 1605, it was an anonymous letter-writer who tipped off the House of Lords to the Gunpowder Plot, leading to Fawkes’ arrest, torture, and execution. Quite a role reversal there. The question we might ask ourselves at this point is why the Anonymous protest organizers chose this particular image as their logo:

Why not, say, this image instead:

It is a depiction of perhaps the most successful revolutionary ever to live, a man who overturned the tables of the moneychangers so thoroughly and irrevocably they remained overturned for the next near-2000 years—all the way up till 1948, you might say. Well of course I can hear the skeptics already. “Oh, he’s a Christian, and he’s just down on the protesters because they haven’t embraced Jesus.” No. This is not the issue at all. For one thing, I’m not down on the protesters, far from it in fact, and I’ll explain why shortly. For another thing, I’ve long been of the conviction that while there is one God, there are many paths to him. Christianity is but one. Had Anonymous chosen this as their logo I would have been just as happy:

Or perhaps even both of them together…

Or how ‘bout either one of these…

Or any of a hundred other possible images—a tree rooted in the ground perhaps? Or a peace symbol? Or for that matter, why even have a logo at all? Is it not slightly reminiscent of the color-coded revolutions that took place in the former Soviet republics in the early 2000s? Well yes, but then logos and colors are useful for branding—which is obviously why corporations make use of them so much. Obviously also why those who organized the Orange Revolution, the Rose Revolution, and other such “mass popular uprisings” saw fit to employ them as well. Both the Orange and Rose revolutions ushered in pro-Western governments and were funded and engineered by U.S. government-affiliated organizations including the National Endowment for Democracy and the Soros-funded Open Society Institute. So yes, logos serve a purpose, even when revolution is the product you’re selling. Well with that in mind, then, how ‘bout this?

Marvelous image, is it not? Would it not make wonderful material for an Occupy Wall Street logo? But no, instead we get this.

Pause a moment and take a good long look at it. Scrutinize it very carefully.

The face of course has the look of a pirate. Pirates, and their imagery, are very popular in American culture and mythology. We have movies about pirates as well as sports teams with pirate mascots, and even pirate video games, while the skull and crossbones is an almost ubiquitous emblem embellishing everything from tattoo parlor windows to CD and magazine covers. Back in the 1990s when I was heavily involved in the pirate radio movement, there were those who argued that the type of broadcasting we were engaged in—using small, 100-watt FM transmitters to broadcast to our own neighborhoods—should be called “micro radio” rather than “pirate radio.” The real pirates, the argument went, were the corporations who had hijacked the nation’s airwaves for their own profits. We were actually the opposite; we were taking back the airwaves for their rightful owners—the people of America. (“Let a thousand transmitters bloom” was a slogan someone came up with.) It was a perfectly rational and logical argument. Nonetheless, the term “pirate radio” remained in vogue. I still even use it to this day.

At any rate, so the “Anonymous” protest organizers have chosen this…

…as their logo, which in reality, if “truth in symbols” prevailed—and were mandatory and legally binding—would in fact be the logo of the very banksters and corporations they’re protesting against.

It is beginning to seem as if these protests did not in reality start out as a spontaneous, grassroots uprising, but instead have been carefully engineered by certain parties in service to a certain agenda, an agenda that may have little if anything to do with democracy or posing a serious challenge to the most powerful people in America.

In the video below you’ll see a man identified as Ivan Marovic delivering a speech at an OWS rally. Watch the video and then I will tell you who Ivan Marovic is.

Marovic is co-founder of the Serbian organization Otpor, which could probably be described as a professional revolutionaries-for-hire sort of outfit. Based in Belgrade, the organization got its start in the late nineties and played a key role in the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević. Since then Otpor, or its affiliates, have helped engineer the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, the Rose Revolution in Georgia, and earlier this year also had a hand in the “Arab Spring.” But don’t take my word for it. A video entitled The Revolution Business goes into considerable detail on Otpor as well as its affiliate, the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, or CANVAS. The video can be seen on YouTube. Marovic appears and is interviewed at about 18 and-a-half minutes in. An individual of such background showing up at an OWS protest raises some pretty profound questions.

As I said above, it is beginning to appear as if these protests were not spontaneous, but instead carefully engineered to achieve a purpose other than the one overtly stated. But—and here’s the key—just because the movement began that way, doesn’t mean it must remain that way. There is a great deal of anger out there. Whoever is involved in manipulating these protests must know that they’re playing with fire. But in their hubris they feel they won’t get burned.

One more video. It features William Engdahl, who makes a very important point about the Wall Street protests. While initially they may have been artificially engineered, he says, perhaps by forces working for the Obama administration, that doesn’t really matter at this point. It doesn’t matter because a spotlight has been turned on, and as a result the protests have taken on a life of their own.

I’m not willing to go as far as Engdahl. I don’t believe the protests have yet taken on a critical mass of self-sustaining power and life, and I don’t believe the organizers have quite yet lost their domineering grip over them. But I do believe there is the very real potential of both these things happening. As I said last week, the movement is up for grabs. A war can be waged for its heart and soul and in fact can be won if we all join in. We need only ask ourselves: are things bad enough now or do we want to wait for them to get worse before we act? It is for millions of Americans who are fed up to begin raising our voices, to show up at these protests and commence making some real, no-nonsense demands.


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