Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Occupy Movement

As Rod Serling would have said on Twilight Zone, "Presented for your consideration a photo from history that shows the face of civil outrage in a disquieted America."  Or something like that.

This is a photo that master photographer Mark Bralley sent me today of the prelude to a large and violent civil disturbance in 1972 at UNM in Albuquerque.  That is me as a young reporter/photographer holding the camera(hidden) as an anti Viet Nam war protestor tries to make peace.  Later people were b wounded on the campus and things went from bad to worse with riots and property destruction for a week.  These protests and many like them led to an end of that war.  It took a while.

Then everything went quiet for the 80's, 90's and 00's.  Thirty years of apathy.  Now the Occupy movement here in Albuquerque and all over the planet is starting to stir emotions and support.  There is a big difference though between the civil disobedience in the 70's and now.  That difference is a clearly defined goals and go-to leaders.  Oh, and the fact that the media has been completely mongrelized by big corporate holding companies who see no percentage in spending resources on covering the causes of this unrest.

In fairness, it is harder in the current globally connected national economies to put a finger on anything other than 'greed is bad.'  And unlike the past, there are few identified leaders who are willing to stick their heads out to plan a political upheaval.  We though Obama might be one, but not so far.  It may be that the internet is now a leader, as in the Arab state rebellions, but there were leaders there to direct and plan.  Not here, so far.  But make no mistake that there is a movement growing.  Whether it is the people hanging out in the parks expressing outrage at the ever widening division of wealth, or be it the consumer revolution that has forced American Banks to rethink plans on overcharging its customers, there is definitely something afoot out there.  To ignore it is political and corporate denial.  Aren't they really the same entity now?  Of course they are.

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