The Occupy Wall Street protests remain at this point an expression of rage against income inequality in the United States. It’s a burgeoning movement in search of platform. And, as such, it remains open to interpretation, just like the Arab Spring that preceded it.
In the United States, the media alternately casts the protesters as ordinary folks who just can’t take it anymore or dangerous elements seeking to disrupt the economic engine that is the nation’s only hope for recovery.
The international coverage of the protests also depends on the eye of the beholder.
That’s why we’re giving you a sampling of comments from a range of media outlets in this bumper post from EAR TO THE WORLD.
Canadians love to poke a bit of fun at the noxious materialism that festers in its southern neighbor. The leading Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail ran a slide show alternating pictures of celebrities with photos of the protests, and adding snide captions throughout. Some assumed the newspaper was hacked, but in fact the paper revealed that it was just the work of their snarky caption writer.
Similar protests to Occupy Wall Street have sprung up in cities around the world. In Ireland, a country that suffered a terrible collapse of its financial system in 2008, one of the protesters of the “Occupy Dame Street” rally – a father and sociology professor – wrote an impassioned opinion piece entitled “I Must Make A Stand For My Kids’ Future” in Dublin’s evening newspaper, The Herald. He noted that the Irish national debt has risen from just $30 billion in 2006 to a staggering $150 billion today, with the majority of that money spent on propping up the banks. Future generations, he writes, can’t afford to pay that bill.
Saturday October 15 saw protests in 950 cities in 80 countries according to the BBC. In Rome tens of thousands of people turned out for a peaceful demonstration which turned violent when a group of militants started attacking cars, banks and shops. This video of what happened in the very center of Rome from the Republicca newspaper, the country’s second largest daily.
South Africa is also preparing for its own version of the protests, and an item in the Johannesburg weekly Mail and Guardian discussed how it might play out. Aragorn Eloff, a documentary filmmaker and anarchist told the magazine that they will be significant because South Africa is “one of the most unequal societies on Earth” and has a deep protest culture. He also noted that the protestors are split between radical but privileged whites who met on Facebook and poor blacks who have a totally different process for organizing.
“The clash of values between the middle-class whities [sic], who were all chattering about how we should coordinate actions on the day via Twitter and smartphones, and the poor and working class folks, most of whom don’t have access to a computer, was in turns fascinating, depressing, infuriating and humbling.”
In China the focus is on what is happening in the U. The media comments we read were on the whole suspicious of the protests which, they argue, are potentially a destabilizing influence on two-party democracy and, in the longer run, on the U.S. relations with China.
“A turbulent political landscape in the US doesn’t bode well for China,” writes John Gong on the “View Points” pageof the Global Times, an English language daily published by the Communist Party newspaper the People’s Daily. “China is likely to emerge as the scapegoat for US economic problems in the upcoming presidential elections.”
For Gong’s full commentary follow the link below.