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Friday
Nov182011

Occupy Wall Street Follow-Up: 1000s March, New York Times Shrugs Shoulders

A journalist for Agence France Presse films her own arrest by New York police

See also Occupy Wall Street LiveStream: The March on the Stock Exchange


Thursday brought new life to the Occupy movement, at least for activists and many protesters, as thousands of people marched on Wall Street in the morning and later gathered at Union Square and Foley Square. Two days after the eviction from Zuccotti/Liberty Square, and amidst police clearances of protest sites in other cities, the marches --- which took up many New York avenues and intersections --- were a sign of persistence, even if aims and outcomes are far from clear.

You would be hard-pressed to know this from the website of The New York Times, however. The newspaper with "all the news that is fit to print" features the European economic situation, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's forthcoming trip to Burma, and the New York Jets-Denver Broncos American football game. The story of the people on the streets below its offices? Tucked away in the "City Room" under the headline "Occupy Protesters Mark Two-Month Milestone", with no indication in the lead paragraph of the size of the demonstration: "More than 200 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested in New York City; others demonstrated peacefully in Foley Square and on the Brooklyn Bridge."


A woman is pepper-sprayed by police at a march in Portland, Oregon (Photo: The Oregonian)


To be fair to the Times, others in the mainstream media also turn away their eyes. There is nothing on the homepage of The Washington Post, apart from a one-line local reference, "Occupy DC Protesters March to Key Bridge". The Los Angeles Times does feature the story, but with the framing that "hundreds of people were arrested across the country". Nowhere does it mention --- despite a photograph testifying to the rows of marchers filling a Los Angeles avenue --- the size of the turnout. It is left to Al Jazeera English to drop into its article, again headlining "Arrests Made at Occupy Protests": "The [New York] rally, which began with a co-ordinated effort to shut down the stock exchange, grew into several thousand strong later in the day as the standard workday ended and unions joined a march across the Brooklyn Bridge."

Nobel Peaze Prize winner Tawakkul Karman, a leading figure among Yemen's activists, speaks to an interviewer at Occupy Wall Street

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