Occupy Wall Street is the gift that keeps on giving. A few weeks had passed after their first hapless attempt to paralyze financial centers of the country, and the protesters are getting ever more extravagant. Turn out is 90% below the expected and getting jammed with satirical tweets? What would Trotsky do? Probably block weekend traffic between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Observers might scratch their heads trying to figure out what it has to do with corporate personhood or whatever else they may or may not decide to be their one goal, but they sure grabbed the headlines.
A 48-year-old student from Brooklyn, Robert Commiso explained that the occupation was a spontaneous and creative anarchist type of activity: “There was a huge funnel, a bottleneck, and we couldn’t fit. People jumped from the walkway onto the roadway. We thought the roadway was open to us.” Then, of course, they refused to clear the lane and got in a scuffle with police. Or to quote Mick Jagger, who seem to know their one true wish:
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singin’, ‘We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t, we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse’
It would be infinitely more enlightened to hire a dominatrix.
Anywho, the Brooklyn Bridge occupation comes on the heels of the March on NYPD Headquarters, when anarchists got a bit disoriented and ended up at the Municipal Building. The saddest thing about this incident is that they probably weren’t even high.
The particular frustration that fueled the March was the Radiohead no-show. A tweeter rumor that the British top 40 band would entertain the troops camped out downtown Manhattan swelled the number of protesters three-fold when — ooops! — the organizers admitted that the show was never confirmed.
So Radiohead, really? Never since the mass marketing of Che-humping Rage Against the Machine were anarchists so drawn to a corporate band.
I mean, really, if they are that carbon footprint-committed they should be flying in authentic British Bakuninheads, like, say, Crass. On the other hand other corporate entertainment sensations, like Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon did swing by. The later evidently possesses special celebrity superpowers as she gave birth at 46.
All this confusion kind of makes sense considering that Occupy Wall Street is a project of Adbusters, your favorite anti-corporate glossy. The magazine created ads for the protest, and they are now livestreaming the event from their front page. Canada-based Adbusters use satire as an excuse to print a rug full of slick graphic design. Because most of their projects are not parodies of advertisement, I’m pressed to conclude that they simply like well produced visual art, and I don’t blame them.
Hannity played a tape of Wall Street occupiers blowing a 50-amp fuse on account of Jewish bankers. Adbusters are godparents of hipster anti-Semitism, as in the poster above. Before the demonic Netanyahu there were the neocon Jews. In 2004 Adbusters ran a story titled “Why Won’t Anybody Say They Are Jewish?” listing 50 influential “neoconservatives” with asterisks next to the Jewish names. Six years later Adbusters run a photo montage comparing Warsaw ghetto to Gaza strip for which they were condemned by Canadian Jewish Congress and blacklisted from bookstores.
Adbusters are the brains behind all sorts of failed happenings, some of which are documented in a film called Culture Jamming. The film follows a handful of activists running around and putting stickers everywhere, the idea being the artists are funny, make people think and the whole phenomena might yield an instant dissertation — just add some Lacan. The film had been screened in various undergrad lib arts classes.
Until the abortive occupation of the Brooklyn Bridge, Adbuster’s failed claim to fame was Buy Nothing Day which involved a handful of activist accosting people at the malls the day after Thanksgiving. They get much favorable pres relative to the protest size, but end up irritating the very masses they try to court.
In the event an urban dweller is confronted by aggressive post-Communists, it’s a good idea carry a can of pepper spray. The police are unlikely to intervene, even if the protesters are obviously overstepping their boundaries. Even if the law enforcement gets involved, anarchists will get a slap on the wrist, which will only inflame them more. When frustrated anarchists are in your face, why not fulfill their wish and deliver a little abuse?
UPDATE: DH suggest that I make it clear that the last paragraph is meant to be black humor.