Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy and the press

Dealing with the press is an art and it needs to be learned.
In my young years protesting was for some people a daily activity all year round.
I remember they closed the main building of the university after asking everyone to join in, because it "would be fun". They took their sleepingbags and a toothbrush, bread and peanutbutterm, and milk or booze and went there for a sit-in.
They invited the press to join them for lunch and they had all the time of the world to explain things and allow them to take photographs.
They were treated well by the press in return, even after the universityboard threw them out.

They went home, showered and had a good night of sleep and appeared in another university building. They studied a lot, went to their exams and were very angry when a more agressive group of protesters blocked the entrance to an exam.
The press was present and the press called the police so they would get a corridor to attend the exams.

Yesterday my son the photographer went to the small group of Occupy to take pictures.
He was nice and kind and had no ill intentions at all.
He was threatened by a guy in such a way that he went away fast and called me to explain his situation.
I told him to come back and leave things as they are and contacted the group by mail.
Until now...no reply.

My other son knew someone from the group and found out this group from Occupy felt negatively treated by the press and as a consequence threw all press from the campingsite.
Ofcourse that sang round and a radioman with an early morning program went there and woke them up with a lot of sound at 7 in the morning, with the message that he came to inspect the grounds for sanitary hygiene and such.
They removed him from the camping grounds with moderate force, as I understand.

These people forget they are dependent on the press.
Until today they got at least goodwill, and that was quite something, as many people are angry they're camping in the middle of town in a parc where no camping is allowed. Their presence is tolerated by the police, but people from the town are not very positive about it because even a small tent of a child will be removed in other circumstances.
By throwing the press out the badly choosen campingsite they place themselves in a corner where they don't want to be.

I think these young people don't realise that protesting is more than sitting somewhere for a good cause.
When the press doesn't convey their message they can't reach the people they need.
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