This is my very first blog ever, so bear with me.

MYTH 1: THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT IS A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO WANT SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.

FACT: The majority of people who I have seen and heard do not want a hand out but a hand-up. The truth is that the 1% receive millions more in welfare than a single mother who receives a state welfare check. This is called corporate welfare and is suppose to help stimulate the economy and create jobs. It creates jobs all right, in China, India, Mexico, etc. Only a small percentage of the 99% is what I would call lazy bums.

MYTH 2: THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT IS FULL OF RADICAL LIBERALS.

FACT: The Occupy movement has a wide variety of people from every walk of life. There are Liberals, but there are Moderates and Conservatives as well. I would call myself a moderate.

MYTH 3: THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT WANTS COMPLETE REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH.

FACT: There are some people in the movement that would love to see this happen, but the majority of the movement's members just want the 1% to pay their fair share in taxes. Most believe that it's ok to be rich if you earned your wealth honestly, or by winning the lottery, and not on the backs of others through oppressive means, or by cheating and swindling other people in Ponzi schemes, predatory lending, etc.

MYTH 4: THE MEMBERS OF THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT ARE ALL SOCIALIST/COMMUNIST.

FACT: Although there may be some who lean towards socialist views, not everyone in the movement is a socialist/communist. This is a myth created by the right-wing to scare people away from the movement. Whenever someone complains about the rising cost of healthcare or high tuition cost, that person is automatically labeled a Socialist/Communist by many right-wingers. The Occupy Movement on the other hand is a Democracy in action.

MYTH 5: THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT IS ANTI-CHRISTIAN.

FACT: This myth is my biggest pet peeve. There are many Christians in the Occupy Movement. The truth is the Right-Wing movement has hijacked many churches by using irrelevant moral issues to get their candidates elected. Issues such as abortion rights are the territory of the Judicial Branch of the government. No President or member of Congress can overturn Roe vs Wade without the majority approval of the U.S. Supreme Court. However when a right-wing candidate says they are pro-life, many church members flock under their banner, even if the candidate is not qualified for the position. The Occupy Movement is full of Moderate Christians, but also has members of many other faiths and religions as well.

There are many, many more myths about the movement that are being spread around by word of mouth and mainstream media. If you know of any I haven't mentioned, feel free to share them with me. I am always open for a good laugh.

Views: 47

Comment by Lindsay Newland Bowker on December 3, 2011 at 12:36pm

Enjoyed your post.

When you say People in Occupy do you mean people actively engaged in and partcipating in the Occupy movement..people you know personally in the context of direct particpation in Occupy?

What you say strikes me as absoutely true for the 99%..how could it be otherwise..after all it is the 99%..so by definition it woud have to look like and include just about everyone

I dont see that diversity of views, race, culture, income in the face of Occupy itself, though.  Hence my question to you and to your experience.

The other question that arises in me in response to your post is where do you see these myths arising from.  Is it what the 1% is saying about Occupy? (did you see my post recently on the republican strategy with respect to Occupy?)  or is this street talk..is this what you hear people who are not in Occupy saying? People you come into contact with every day.

I am asking this second question still trying to undrstand why Occupy keeps dropping in popularity in reputable, reliable national polls ( down to 33% approval as of Nov 16) even as it gets more and better coverage in all kinds of solid well read media..print and tv.  There was even a terrific and very insightful article on Occupy in Vanity Fair recently. My blog here today was about an excellent "salon " hosted by Chris Hayes.

I think the  99% is alive and on the move but maybe they don't see Occupy as represnting them or being good petitioners for their cause, their plight, their desires and hopes.  I think its posisble the media keeps reefrring to "occupy" as the leadership of the 99%, the voice of the 99% because thats what held the light up and said "enough" and also because Jesse Lagrecca is available for commentary just about everywhere as the "spokesperson" for occupy and its hard to get a regular spokesperson for the 99% , beacuse it actually is the 99%.

I am interested in your experience and perspective.  Is Occupy as it presents itself, truly the face and voice of the 99%?

Comment by indiana.activist on December 3, 2011 at 11:12pm

Lindsay,

Please bear with me, your questions are not easy to answer in a short paragraph, so this will be a little lengthy.

The people you see camping out in parks holding signs and chanting "Banks got bailed out ... we got sold out" is only the very tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, due to lack of sanitation and hygiene from long-term encampment, the corporate media like to portray the 99% as being filthy, lazy bumbs who want something for nothing. Recently, I have been posting messages to the Occupy movements trying to encourage them to obtain a building to make as a headquarters so active Occupiers would have a place to sleep, eat, and shower. I have received no comment on that as of yet.

I live in a rural area that has a population of about 5,000 people or less. I moved here last April from a city of 85,000 people. Since I moved here I have a unique perspective from opinions of the people around me. I occupy two different worlds so to speak. One is a world of journalism and graphic arts, and the other is a world dealing with faith and the Churches. My standing is that of a moderate, I am neither Conservative or Liberal. I am neither a leader or follower. I am a chronicler (one who observed and takes note and advises). I live an outside the window looking in existence.

Many of the people I see everyday work for less than what they really deserve (including myself). Some of the people are for the Occupy Movement while others hold true to the right-wing, redneck mentality. The ones who are your typical redneck type never watch the news or when they do it's very little. They go by word of mouth usually and they are quick to jump on the right-wing bandwagon because they tickle their ears. They tell them they are pro-life, pro-gun ownership and anti-tax. In the city I came from, local businesses would have televisions tuned to CNN; here, they are tuned to Fox News Network. The local McDonald's plays Fox news everyday on a huge flat screen television.

The community is more or less divided on the issue. Many are for the movement but a portion of them want to see a more concrete leadership and objective, while others are for the Tea Party, or they just don't care. I mentioned Tea Party because they have been trying to gain an influence in this area for two years and their leader goes out of the way to get attention. Ironically, the community is mostly made up by devoted Democrats who hate the Republican and Tea Party's.

The churches are divided around here. Most churches who are against the Occupy movement are Pentecostals, Full Gospels, Independent Baptist, while others are more open and supportive or neutral. In a small community, however, the churches I just mentioned yell the loudest. The Catholics are mixed, while Southern Baptist and others are somewhat sympathetic, however they do not voice their support openly.

Around here I do see diversity among Supporters of the Occupy movement. Many of them are older and retired; many are professionals like myself, and many are working stiffs or unemployed.

I don't physically attend any rallies because I live too remote. The nearest encampment in Indianapolis is 85 miles from where I live, I work 40+ a week, and I have a very sick mother in a nursing home facility in another county that I visit almost every weekend. My involvement is online by spreading the message through social media such as Facebook, and recently I visit the Occupy Wall Street website.

Last, but not least, because I work for the media I am exposed to a multitude of news resources that the average person does not look upon, or care about. My company that I work for is affiliated with the Associated Press, however I get my sources of information from CNN, MSNBC, CBS, RT, and alternative media such as Youtube, etc. I receive a well-rounded view of the movement from every angle and have been following it since its concept and creation.

Unti

Comment by indiana.activist on December 3, 2011 at 11:22pm

Sorry Lindsay, but it looks like I went over the word limit. To answer your final question, the Protesters you see on the news is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more out there who are like me that are more Anonymous and are behind the scenes. They are of all walks of life and you may see many of them and not know it. They are your preachers, your school teachers, your local Walmart cashiers, your waitress who pours your coffee, military service people, your mail carrier, the homeless, nursing home people, the unemployed, and so on. They are of all races, colors and creeds. They may even be your neighbor next door or even your closest family members.

I hope this helps you.

Comment by indiana.activist on December 3, 2011 at 11:28pm

The other question that arises in me in response to your post is where do you see these myths arising from.  Is it what the 1% is saying about Occupy? (did you see my post recently on the republican strategy with respect to Occupy?)  or is this street talk..is this what you hear people who are not in Occupy saying? People you come into contact with every day.


The answer is both the 1% represented by mainstream media and talk on the streets. Ironically, the majority of people who talk negatively about the movement are people who could benefit the most from what the movement is trying to accomplish. It's amazing how some of your poorest people will sing the praises of the Republican Party, Tea Party, etc. ... the very people who sold and who are still selling them out to the 1%.

Comment by indiana.activist on December 3, 2011 at 11:35pm

UPDATE FROM OCCUPY SEATTLE ... LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE LISTENED TO ME!!!

Last night (Friday, Dec. 3), undeterred by the city's destruction of their original encampment, hundreds of Occupy Seattle supporters occupied a vacant warehouse slated for demolition and condo development. After entering, Occupiers erected barricades, held a General Assembly, and began plans to fix up the space for community use.

Using SWAT teams and a ladder truck, police swarmed the warehouse, making 20 arrests and setting an unsettling precedent for the escalating use of military-style tactics against nonviolent occupiers who are liberating public space.

Occupy Seattle is currently holding a jail solidarity action in front of the King County jail and are requesting all their supporters show up!

Like similar building occupations across the country and the globe, Seattle's occupation of the 10th and Union warehouse signals a new stage of the Occupy movement. Facing a coordinated crackdown on public encampments, occupiers are moving indoors. In the lead up to December 6th, the National Day of Action to Occupy Our Homes, Occupations from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to Atlanta to Boston are turning empty and unused buildings into commonly-held resources for our communities, and defending homes from foreclosure and forcible eviction.

Comment by Lindsay Newland Bowker on December 4, 2011 at 8:41am

Your chronicle is mine as well.we are seeing the same thing perhaps because we both are trying to see clearly and understand what actually is happening, what people are actually saying, what influences are most at work in the lives of the 99%.  I see, as you do, that most who are awake to their reality as the economically and politically disenfranchised 99%, do not see any connection between "Occupy" and their circumstances.  Occupy is not at work in the lives of the 99% as an influence or as a ray of hope.Occuipy isn't even  atopic of conversation inmost American households and to the extent that most americans even know about it .they don't connect with what Occupy is reported doing as a strategy that will lead to change for them in their lives.

Occupy Harvard got no play at all within the occupy movement even though they were pointing to some very fundamental chnages that need to happen in how we educate chikdren and youth. Using Occupy tactics on a famous economist who teaches there to make the correct statement..this is propaganda not teaching is one of the most meaningful expressions of core changes needed to retake the healm of this ship.

To the extent that Occupy is a refeernce at all here in Maine encampments stand for something.switness and stand in solidarity with a particular group of oppressed people.  For example, Occupy Bangor has been trying to maintain a winter encampment in solidarity with the homeless, the elderly, the poor who will be facaing cold in winter because they can't afford to heat their homes or have no homes. They were tapped by a food pantry at Thanaksgiving to help prepare and serve Thnaksgiving for an unprecendented number of homeless and food poor people.

This to me should be the model of occupy.  Each encampment and flash mob should be about naming, witnessing, sanding in solidarity with a partcular oppression r class of oppressed.  This cuts across and trabscends all those smaller but now more powerful circles of influence to which the truly oppressed are looking to understand and cope with ther circumstances. Occupy should be learning from Occupy Harvarad and Occupy Bangor how to make their presence more directly and intentionally a voce for change, a rally cry for common action across above and beyyond party lines and local affiliatons.

I have my resrvatins about Occupy Housing..yes absolutely we need an occupy action to witness and stand in solidarity with those who were victimized by the mortgage scandal..squatting in foreclosed houisng to house the Occupy movement and hive them a winter headquaterters is to me not only not standing insolidaroity with the victims but offensive and inward looking as if preserving the visibility of th e Occupiers is more important than fighting for the victims.That Occupy doesn't see that, doesn't understand that shows how self absorbed they have become.

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