G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Leftist movements leverage hysteria to spread their message. At Gawker, Max Read covers the arrests of between 17 and 24 people who descended on a NYC Citibank to stage a massive checking account closing. Here is what ensued:
Who among us has not gone somewhere looking for a fight? It could be a fist fight, or it could be a verbal altercation. But I dare say that everyone – at some point in their lives – has gone into a situation, ruffled feathers because they knew feathers could be ruffled, and then held up their hands as if none of the ensuing altercation was their fault. I’ve done it, both in public and in my various relationships. This is classic passive-aggressive provocation – a sort of entrapment.
At Citibank, you see cameras at the ready. You see a sullen young man staring out of the bank’s window as he is about to be detained, sending some sort of message to the people standing outside. You hear the people outside the bank talking about calling “the lawyers” as if a crack team of attorneys was waiting on standby for something to pop off.
This was planned. Not just the protest, but the arrests. Just as The Daily Beast’s John Avlon noted comments from an Occupier to the effect of “we’re going down here in order to get arrested”, much of the OWS movement is staged to heighten the conflict between authorities and protestors.
But when these people actually accomplish what they set out to accomplish – mass arrests, conflict with the police – they yell louder and more hysterically. In the Gawker vid you can clearly hear the woman videotaping the incident shouting “For Shame!” at the top of her lungs. If I didn’t know the context I’d assume that this all was a scene from a movie where an evil overlord dictates a surprise ruling, detaining and then quickly beheaded a hero (I’m thinking Game of Thrones). The onlookers’ shock builds on their helplessness. But, yeah, NYC Citibank is not the same. The rabble-owsers set out to cause trouble and then freaked out when they got what they asked for. There was no surprise ruling leading to mass arrest.
Read also wrote:
After all, we don’t know what she was doing before she calmly tried to explain to the officer that she is a Citibank customer! Maybe she was trespassing, at the bank where she keeps all of her money and is likely charged for the privilege of doing so? Presumably, she’s one of the 24 people who were arrested at a Citibank near Washington Square Park in Manhattan on charges of “criminal trespassing” yesterday—Occupy Wall Street protesters who were staging a mass account-closing, but who, Citibank claims in an official statement, “were very disruptive and refused to leave after being repeatedly asked.” (Citibank also says that “[o]nly one person asked to close an account and was accommodated.”)
Just a point of clarification here. Read – parroting many others who are angry with how customers are treated at banks, including those who are criticizing Bank of America for instituting a $5 debit card fee – ignores the service that banks provide their customers. People keep their money on deposit at banks so that they don’t have to tote cash around on their person. Of course, banks benefit from this. But these banks have to protect their other customers as well. So when one set of customers detracts from the ability of the bank to do business with other customers, it is within their right to protect both their property and their customers’ ability to access their accounts.
Now, the Gawker piece was supposedly about the arrest of one woman who may not have been attached to the Occupier crowd. But who should that woman be angrier at, the bank or the occupiers who got her - an unwitting bystander – caught up in their game? The elderly woman at the beginning of the video ventures down that road when she says “This isn’t Wall Street. This is Greenwich Village.” Touche old lady.
This heightened awareness on the part of the “rabble-owsers” detracts from its cache, in my opinion. A more authentic movement – one arising out of pure anger (which is more respectable than pure narcissism and boredom) – would have massive arrest as a means rather than an end. I keep trying to slap down various comparisons between the Arab Spring and this so-called American Autumn, but I always have to point out that those participating in the Arab Spring DID NOT want to get arrested. This should tell you something about the nature of this movement and whatever it is they are railing against.