By Ernest A. Canning on 10/30/2011, 4:05pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

An October 9 Time Magazine poll revealed that 89% of Americans agree that Wall Street exerts too much influence on our political system; 79% feel the gap between rich and poor is too large; 71% feel the executives from the major financial institutions responsible for the 2008 economic meltdown should be prosecuted; and that only 6% of Americans identify themselves as "Tea Party" followers.

Previous MSM efforts to either ignore what amounts to a genuine democratic uprising or to disparage Occupy Wall Street by falsely claiming the movement has no goal have obviously fallen flat. Against that backdrop, the corporate-owned Los Angeles Times launched a desperate effort to deceptively depict the movement as a transient phenomenon which has had its say and should now fade away.

That effort was apparent in both an October 27 front-page news article in the LA Times, "Putting the move in Occupy movement", as well as a lead editorial in the October 28 paper.

Despite such efforts, neither the dire underlying conditions which have been brought on by history's greatest wealth disparity and the tyranny of the corporate security state, nor the people's desire to realize America's still-unfilled egalitarian democracy is likely to dissipate any time soon. As the Mavis Staples song says, "We shall not be moved!"...

Corporate outlet presents views of elites

In typical elitist fashion, the Times laments the vicious police assaults in New York and in Oakland, but not because these amounted to a brutal suppression of citizens' First Amendment rights. Instead, the editors of Los Angeles Times are troubled because such brutality provides "strategic advantages" to the movement in terms of increased "publicity...and increasing public participation." They are horrified that Oakland protestors "are now calling for a general strike [on November 2nd] to shut down city operations."

Occupy Wall Street takes exception to a vice-into-virtue philosophy such as that which elevates the profits of the healthcare insurance industry, their CEOs and Wall Street investors, over the health and very lives of our citizens, 45,000 of whom who die each year simply because they are too poor to afford insurance. Then there are the countless citizens whose lives are placed at risk because insurance carriers deny vital procedures to protect the corporate bottom line, like the teenager who has taken a lead role at Occupy San Francisco after our private, for-profit health insurance industry has denied her a life-saving bone marrow transplant to combat her leukemia.

Rather than any of those dire situations, the Times points to damage to a City Hall lawn and the inconvenience of a farmer's market having to relocate to a plaza across the street from Occupy L.A. as evidence that the movement needs to move on.

Dead people, okay. Dead lawn? Well that portends the end of Western civilization as we know it!

The Times front-page "news" item expresses concern for "protest fatigue." That would be perfectly acceptable if the concern were the health of citizens willing to undergo hardships by living in hastily erected encampments, or the risk that the movement could stagnate and become little more than a nuisance to the corrupt and powerful. (It would also be appropriate, as will be addressed in a subsequent article, to address potential stagnation that could arise if Occupy Wall Street did not take steps vital to becoming the egalitarian democracy that it seeks.)

But the Times front-page "news" article was not written from the point of view of the protesters. Its "protest fatigue" remark is made in the context of elite "anxiety about what happens next." Indeed, it seems it is only the elites and their cheerleaders in the corporate media who are suffering "protest fatigue." The good citizens who have displayed a steely resolve to recapture their stolen democracy are doing such fine, thank you.

Whose park is it, anyway?

As we previously reported, on Oct. 5, the L.A. City Council, with the approval of the mayor, adopted a resolution that amounts not only to a ringing endorsement of Occupy Wall Street but a condemnation of the corporate security state.

Perturbed by the strong support of ordinary citizens by that city's leadership, the Oct. 28 Los Angeles Times editorial begins with rank speculation:

Right about now, we suspect City Council President Eric Garcetti is regretting telling protesters with the Occupy Los Angeles movement camping outside City Hall that they were welcome to "stay as long as you need to."

The editors go on to suggest that the Occupy L.A. protesters have "worn out their welcome."

Whose welcome? They're camped out in a public park!

Perhaps, in the face of the one percent's relentless drive for privatization, so aptly described in Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine, the editorial staffs of the corporate-owned media have forgotten the meaning of the commons.

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Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968).

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