Naomi Wolf’s ‘Shocking Truth’ About the ‘Occupy Crackdowns’ Offers Anything but the Truth
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The National Union of Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a Freedom of Information Act request to investigate possible federal involvement with law enforcement practices that appeared to target journalists. The New York Times reported that “New York cops have arrested, punched, whacked, shoved to the ground and tossed a barrier at reporters and photographers” covering protests.
This is a disturbing story pertaining specifically to New York. It's a non-sequitur here.
Wolf then offers some more tales of protesters facing police violence. She then cites Chris Hayes’ report as some sort of evidence that these crackdowns weren’t the result of local decisions.
Journalist Chris Hayes reported on a leaked memo that revealed lobbyists vying for an $850,000 contract to smear Occupy. Message coordination of this kind is impossible without a full-court press at the top. This was clearly not simply a case of a freaked-out mayors’, city-by-city municipal overreaction against mess in the parks and cranky campers. As the puzzle pieces fit together, they began to show coordination against OWS at the highest national levels.
There was no “message coordination” of any kind – it was a proposal that was reportedly rejected. It wasn’t produced by or sent to any organ of government – it was a memo by sleazy lobbyists looking for a pay-check from the banking lobby.
Wolf then continues to throw everything she can get her hands on at the wall in the hope that something sticks…
I was still deeply puzzled as to why OWS, this hapless, hopeful band, would call out a violent federal response.
That is, until I found out what it was that OWS actually wanted.
The mainstream media was declaring continually “OWS has no message”. Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online “What is it you want?” answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.
The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act….
No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.
When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them.
I have probably interviewed 50-75 participants in the Occupy Movement, at multiple camps in the Bay Area, and heard all sorts of proposals and “demands” for healing our economy. But I have never heard any Occupier call for “draft[ing] laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.”
This seems to be the heart of her argument – Congress critters have a nice little rip-off going, they feel threatened by the Occupy Movement’s efforts to bring greater transparency to government, and as a result, they are “ordering” a nation-wide crack-down. But this central claim is based on emails she supposedly got from readers that seem pretty divergent from what the rest of us are hearing.
Wolf has that problem covered, however. Because even if the Occupiers don’t know that this is high on their list of demands, the police informants who have infiltrated the movement are able to discern their agenda even before the protesters have come up with it…