Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Adbusters versus Obama: The Battle is On

This is fascinating. Adbusters the organization that launched the Occupy movement is stepping up its warning on attempts by Obama operatives to co-opt the movement. Adbusters is in many ways a confused organization, but it is good to see their attempt to distance themselves from Obama. From Adbusters:
Last weekend, tens of thousands of activists participated in training workshops put together by the 99% Spring, a project of and several other organizations that purports to move away from clicktivism toward fomenting “non-violent direct action”–aiming to transform America in the process.
“Change happens,” say actors Olivia Wilde and Penn Badgley, in a video created for the organization, “because people put their beliefs and bodies on the line.” They go on to reference civil rights activism, and the video cuts to crowds of peaceful protestors. Some journalists and news outlets have praised this supposed shift, claiming its goal is to recruit a broad base of regular Joes and Janes, and ally them with the Occupy movement.
Others warned, as early as March, that the 99% Spring’s links to meant that it would be a veiled Obama re-election campaign (making the movement’s nod to the Arab Spring bitterly ironic, as the US is a major supplier of arms used to quash democratic uprisings).
Is the 99% Spring movement a veiled attempt to co-opt and sanitize Occupy? Is it a marketing ploy for Obama 2012? According to occupier Charles Young, it would appear so:
“The first clue that my evening might go otherwise was the sign-up table, where there were a bunch of Obama buttons for sale and one sign-up sheet for the oddly named Community Free Democrats (are they free of community?), which is the local Democratic clubhouse. That killed the “inspired by Occupy Wall Street” vibe right there. No piles of literature from a zillion different groups, as there had been in Zuccotti Park. No animated arguments among Marxists, anarchists, progressives, punks, engaged Buddhists, anti-war libertarians and what have you. Just Obama buttons, which didn’t appear to be selling.”

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