On September 17th, the day Occupy Wall Street was to begin, I wrote a post suggesting that what the country needed was a return to a permanent encampment protest like the Bonus Army’s Hooverville of 1932, in part because it seems clear that with today’s 24/7 news cycle any single large march, rally or protest is easily forgotten and therefore easily ignored. I figured that in order to command the nation’s attention a semi-permanent protest that lasted for weeks and months was probably needed. When I wrote the post I was entirely unaware that OWS was arriving on Wall Street, and so I have been secretly congratulating myself for having been somewhat prescient.
Uh . . . I wasn’t.
I wrote that post in response to a statement made the previous day by NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which he warned that if something weren’t done to address “unemployment and poverty in the United States” we’d be seeing riots similar to what happened in Cairo and Madrid. Given that the Occupy Wall Street movement was directly drawing its inspiration from the events in Cairo and Madrid, and that Bloomberg made his statement the day before the occupation was to begin, it is clear that he was already attempting to blunt the movement by predisposing the media to regard it as a “riot.”
So OWS announced that it would be descending on Wall Street on September 17th, Bloomberg gave a pre-emptive statement on September 16th, and I responded to that statement the next day . . . which therefore ended up being the day OWS began. It was a simple chain of cause-and-effect that, because I didn’t know what was going on, I mistook for some mysterious synchronicity.
Damn! As is usual, the truth is much more rational, but isn’t nearly as much fun.