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News Media Review

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was a protest movement that began in Zuccotti Park in New York’s Wall Street on September 17, 2011. This protest was initiated by Adbusters and was assisted by the Manhattan based PR firm, the Workhouse. There were ensuing events that helped lead to media awareness that later inspired the Occupy protests and movements. The main issues raised by the OWS were economic and social inequalities, corruption, greed and the perceived undue influence of corporations on government especially from the financial sector. The OWS started a slogan We are the 99% that referred to the income and wealth inequality distribution between the richest 1% and the rest of the population. After protesters kicked out of Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011, they unsuccessfully tried to re-occupy the original position. They later turned their focus on banks, board meetings, colleges & universities, and corporate headquarters. This paper will review a blog in the Guardian newspaper by journalist Adam Gabbat.

The blog is about an OWS protest and reaction on Thursday 6 October, 2011. Gabbat started reporting the protest as at 10am when about 15,000 protesters marched through a lower Manhattan and were joined by representatives of unions for a solidarity march. Although the march was legal and meant to be good natured, ugly scenes were reported when police tried to kettle protesters before they used pepper sprays and batons to control the mammoth crowd the night before. A video clip is available for the same. The blogger reports that the Associated Press (AP) wrote about heavy-handed police treatment the previous night may be renewed (Gubbat, 2011).

As at 11.21am, the US president, Barrack Obama, was holding a news conference at the white house and when asked about the OWS, he says that he is for the movement and vows o fight to ensure that there is a consumer watchdog to ensure that the financial sector is regulated for a fair distribution of wealth. He says that he had not prosecuted in the financial sector because what they are doing is not illegal but immoral. Another writer writing from Zuccotti Park indicates that police did not treat the protesters well during the 20,000 strong march (Gubbat, 2011).

Some media commentators compare the OWS with the Tea Party as at 12.21pm and none seems to be sure of what the differences or similarities are. However, the vice president, Joe Biden, believes that the two have a lot in common. There is a rumor mill that JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs had made a donation of $4.6m to the NYPD. The rumor is confirmed to be true that JP Morgan made a $4.6 million to the NYPD in their website, the largest gift in the NYPD history. As at 2.43pm, the crowd grows Freedom corner, Washington DC. At around 4.39pm, a small crowd at Occupy DC protests walks from Freedom Plaza shouting, “where’s our jobs!” this blogger wraps up his day by 5.30 and promises to continue covering the protest the following day (Gubbat, 2011).

According to an article in the Harvard International Review by Amy Dean, the OWS started as motley assembly, the movement as a whole grew far bigger and in truth the movement is a complaint against a broken economic compact in America. Although they are disbanded, the protesters look ways of escalating their issues and remain on the spotlight. Clearly, there is a problem with the financial services sector that the protesters have identified. Inequality is a serious problem in the US and people provided a focal point not only with the OWS in Zuccotti Park but also with other targets outside Wall Street (Dean, 2012).  

I have a problem concerning the treatment of the protesters by police. Police officers swinging their buttons and the use of pepper sprays to control the crowd are not only illegal but also immoral. As reported by the Huffington post, the NYPD used unnecessarily aggressive tactics as well as excessive force against a peaceful demonstration as reported by a group of attorneys after an 8month investigation. They are even video evidences although the NYPD spokesman stated that arrests were only made after the law was broken (Rudolf, 2012).