Monday, January 9, 2012

Occupy the Narrative: Inside/Outside Protest Pen at NH Primary

Nearly full moon over the encampment site at Occupy NH in Manchester. A group of us went down from Maine to join people coming from around New England and other locations to occupy the primary. We arrived in time to join the LGBT equal rights march to Veterans' Park, which was the original ONH site.
The Beacon was there, courtesy of Occupy the Light from Providence.
The Elephant In The Room was there from Occupy Boston, and appeared to be a livestream station as well as a great visual. I saw at least three other livestreamers in the course of the afternoon and evening, including a woman who said she had come from OWS.

Greater Boston CODEPINK women joined us outside St Anselm College where the candidates "debated" on Saturday night. Ridgely, Lois, Trish, Pat and I stood by the street with banners and pink roses. The funeral for the American Dream passed by us with candles, and then we followed them up the hill where we were all herded into a protest pen aka free speech (sic) zone by the police claiming that anyone with a sign had to be in there even though one officer told us he disagreed with the policy.
There seemed to be about 250 occupiers, and a roughly equal number of GOP candidate supporters of various stripes. The Ron Paulites were the most vociferous, insisting that anyone bearing an antiwar message MUST support their candidate. (Sorry, too racist/anti-immigration for me, based on my own research of a few years ago.) Many of them joined in chanting “We are the 99%” with occupiers, which is the first time I had observed this blend. The protest pen served its purpose by having only one side that faced the sea of media trucks, a side that was quickly dominated by those with commercially printed signs for leading GOP candidates. The shouting crowd behind provided background roars while TV viewers at home saw the placards approved by the Dept. of False Dichotomy. Nifty huh? 

The 1% does many things well. Manufacturing consent has been a strength but is unraveling; manufacturing Potemkin village-type “news” continues to be a speciality. Funding and arming a police state in the U.S.A. is proceeding apace – note this news of anti-protest laws announced by the former White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel, now mayor of Chicago where NATO and the G-8 will convene in May. Oops, did he misspeak when he originally announced the laws were temporary?

As my buddy Bruce Gagnon is fond of blogging, better rattle your chains now while you still can. Inside the protest pen or outside the lobbyist hotels, or wherever you may find yourself.

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