Occupy Movement ignored by mainstream media after a month of strong protest


Log on to any news website. Turn on any news channel. Read any newspaper. Chances are that your favorite news source is underreporting one crucial story: the Occupy Movement.

The Occupy Movement began on Sept. 17 when an organized group of people, mostly young progressives, went to Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street, to camp out. With tents, signs and chants ready, they were occupying the city in protest of corporate welfare and wealth inequality. This has been continuing for the past few weeks, with more people joining the protest every day.

Put yourself in the position of an American, angry about and affected by today’s political and financial climate. Maybe you’ve lost your job. Maybe your wages are going down. Maybe you’re doing just fine financially, but you resent the fact that while banks are being bailed out and the wealthiest one percent of Americans is getting giant tax cuts, the other 99 percent continue to struggle finding job security and benefits they deserve.

If this sounds like you, you fit in the Occupy Movement.

Law enforcement hasn’t responded to the movement well, at least not on Wall Street. On the weekend of Sept. 24, two women protesting in Lower Manhattan – doing nothing violent, simply marching with the other protesters – were pepper-sprayed by police officers. Several people have been arrested throughout the last couple weeks for simply blocking the flow of traffic during their march.

It has gotten worse since. On Oct. 14, video was released of a police motorcycle running over a man’s leg during the protest. The man had to kick the bike off, and immediately afterward, he was arrested. The man wasn’t even there as a protester – he’s a lawyer, and was there to observe.

Because of this response, there has been a wave of outrage among middle-class Americans, as well as a wave of solidarity. This is part of the reason why the Occupy Movement has found its way beyond Wall Street. There are now Occupy rallies in Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Chicago, and even Portland, to name a few. Union members, students, and even some affluent Americans are rallying to protest what Michael Moore, progressive activist and filmmaker, has called “kleptomania” on the part of the country’s richest citizens, as well as the police brutality experienced by the protesters and observers of the movement.

If this movement is so universal among all classes of Americans, why is the media paying so little attention to it? Your guess is as good as mine.

For example, look at the headlines on the major news websites on Oct. 4, about two weeks after the protests began and one week after the accounts of police brutality were publicized. ABC’s top story was Bank of America’s website crashing. The New York Times and Huffington Post talk about the new iPhone. Fox News has a large headline about Attorney General Eric Holder. Washington Post, NPR, BBC News, and MSNBC all focused on Governor Chris Christie announcing he will not run for president – a fact that has been known for months, if not years.

Only one major news website had any front-page news about Occupy: CBS News, whose main story that day was about the spread of the movement across the nation.

The movement is so widespread, but there is still a media blackout. It seems as if every day, another city is getting behind the cause. Another rally is organized in Anytown, USA. It’s spreading like wildfire. It’s selling like hotcakes. The message is being heard and said nearly everywhere. It just might be the biggest populist movement America has seen in a decade. It’s bigger than the Tea Party at this point. If that’s the case, where’s the news coverage?

Americans are making their voices heard through the Occupy movement. They are taking to the streets (and the tweets) to speak out against unfairness and highlight the struggle of a declining middle class. In a world where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, these protesters are proactively standing up and saying they will take no more. It is the best thing we can do right now in this political and financial climate. Since ballots are not working to solve these problems, peaceful protest just might have what it takes to make the government, and the bankers it coddles, listen. And the mainstream media isn’t seeing it.

It’s a new day in America, inside and outside of Wall Street. The media needs to wake up and enjoy it with us.