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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Brains behind Occupy Wall Street disappointed by the "loony left"

Last week, Kalle Lasn, editor of Adbusters magazine and the man behind the campaign that launched the Occupy Wall Street movement, expressed his disappointment in the quality of the protesters who showed up at Occupy camps in Canada and the US. In an interview with CJME radio, he said:
"I must admit, there is something kind of special about Canada," Lasn said in a telephone interview. "Somehow I found that many of the things that were happening in the U.S., there seems to be more vigour and spunk in some of the occupations there."

Lasn's impressions of the comparative lassitude stemmed from visits to the Occupy site in his adopted home town of Vancouver, which _ along with other urban campsites in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec and Edmonton _ was forcibly shut down by city authorities earlier this week.

While the site attracted its share of energized, politically engaged youth who the Estonian-born Lasn describes as "the new left," he also noted a stronger presence from fringe elements that has given left wing movements a bad name in the past, he said.

"I just had a feeling that there was a little bit too much of the loony left there," Lasn said. "I had a feeling that we needed more of the young, new-left spunk that I felt was happening in Zuccotti Park. I didn't see all that much of it here in Vancouver."
"New-left spunk"? So that's what that smell was. Mr. Lasn naturally blamed the collapse of the movement on "the mainstream media":
Lasn is quick to lay much of the blame on mainstream media, who he accuses of depicting the protesters as lawless rebels and their camp sites as dens of iniquity.

By zeroing in on incidents of drug use and crime _ which take place in staggering numbers every day _ Canada's news outlets failed to communicate the key message at the heart of the "Occupy movement," he said.

"The Canadian media really dropped the ball on this one," Lasn said. "Instead of seeing it as a movement of young people fighting for a different kind of future, which is so beautiful and so valid, they basically saw it as a pesky irritation that had to be got rid of."
You've got to be kidding me. The mainstream media handled the Occupy protests with kid gloves and hyped it beyond belief. Most reporters filed breathless stories like they were calling in from Tiananmen Square. If it hadn't been for bloggers and a few outlets like Sun News and the National Post, we would have learned very little about the filth, violence and substance abuse that was happening.

I personally visited two Occupy camps in Ottawa and Kingston. I saw for myself what was going on and I would have been really surprised if I had relied solely on the CBC, CTV or the Toronto Star for my information.

I have news for Kalle Lasn: the loony left IS the new left.

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