The Occupy Wall Street (or OWS if you prefer) movement appears to be gathering some momentum, but the media it seems still doesn’t get it.
The OWS is a self proclaimed leaderless movement with the main message that ‘we’ the 99% are no longer happy for ‘they’ the 1% to continue their greed and corruption.
But such a wide ranging ideal with no specifics to back it up puts out an endless number of messages that it is very hard to get a handle on.
That presents the OWS with a big problem.
For example, to me personally it looks like they are saying “we think something is fundamentally wrong with the way our society is set up and it needs to change, we are not quite sure what that is or what action to take but, hey, just come along and join us”.
Other people would probably see it much differently.
No political party would get very far on this basis.
The biggest problem for OWS though, is how can the media give airtime and page space to something that they can’t define or explain in a few hundred words?
And if the press can’t explain it then how can their watchers and readers learn anything from it or take a view on it?
The rope that OWS has picked up is connected firmly to the rock of finance and politics, but everyone in OWS is pulling it in a different direction. They will never move the rock that way.
But possibly more dangerous to OWS is that they decide that they do need a leader as well as aims and objectives all nicely laid out in a manifesto. Then all the splintering will start, with factions, left and right wings, breakaway groups. That will mean it ending up as yet another fringe political group that can be safely ignored.
OWS likens itself to the Arab Spring, but the people concerned there had overtly oppressive regimes they wished to overthrow. Regimes with actual identifiable evil people at the top. But OWS are pointing at ‘the system’ and ‘corporations’, making it much harder.
OWS has to somehow articulate an easily understood root aim that the whole (dis)organisation can get behind and that will motivate the average citizen in such a way as to force a change in the political landscape.
A difficult task indeed.
Without this there is unlikely to be a flood of media coverage in the near future making talk of a political/media conspiracy to kill the news. Something not helped by the fact that Norton Antivirus warns those searching for the OccupyWallStreet web-site, or trying to gain access to it, that the site is a ‘known malicious’ site with three computer threats on it so do not go there (see pictures below).