With Occupy Wall Street celebrating their sixth month “anniversary” during the weekend of Mar. 16-18, New York City’s occupiers got especially rowdy. Once more, they mostly made asses out of themselves, and ended up being surprised (once again) by the response of the NYPD. Revolution is a rough game, kids, and you really are lucky you’re trying to play here, in this country, than many other places on Earth where you’d all be riddled with bullets by now.
But I digress.
During the chaos that OWS managed to incite on Saturday night, one protestor was supposedly roughed up by the NYPD and subjected to all sorts of awful horrors. Unfortunately, for those who do a little digging, Cecily McMillan’s story doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny. However, for once, at least some part of the Occupy team realized the control and flow of information might be an important thing.
Sparrow Media Project (@SparrowMedia) labels itself as “Publicity, PR, and creative direction for grassroots activists. We amplify marginalized voices”, on it’s Twitter profile. Over the weekend, those silly kids at Sparrow realized trying to push McMillan’s story (at least the way they wanted it pushed), would require a fine control of the information being sent out by the hundreds of protestors and thousands of Internet users following the action.
First off, Sparrow suggests the “correct” angle of McMillan’s altercation, and also suggests any non-approved footage be removed immediately:
After that, Sparrow then scolds fellow uploaders about the importance of “security culture” (a favored term of the Anarchist left):
An interesting conversation captured there at the bottom, as well.
Sparrow’s intervention here shows that OWS is certainly hardening up to be a movement of the hardcore political Left. Andy Stepanian, a member of the Sparrow team, is relatively well-known to both the professional activist Left, and to the law as a convicted felon. Being the featured speaker at an event titled “Subverting Capitalism, Activism and the Media”, along with being a member of yet another Leftist, “unjustly accused” and imprisoned “number” group (the SHAC 7), Stepanian’s lefty credentials are legitimate. And now, it appears he looks to be taking on the role of Spin Doctor for OWS as their spring “campaign” ramps up.
Let this be of note. They realize that those who disagree with them in every manner possible monitor them relentlessly. Stepanian seemingly knows, at least, that the flow of information has to be closely guarded and filtered in order to create the proper narrative for the flagging movement, the correct sense of victimization and feigned righteous indignation to keep them moving forward. Andy’s even threaten to “dox” Brooks Bayne (screenshot below), the founder/editor of The Graph, and he even hints at potential violence. The term dox is typically used to describe criminal means to obtain and post personally identifiable information (PII) about people on the Internet. This would include things like a person’s home address, work address, credit card information, phone number, etc. However, dox information can also be “exploited by criminals to stalk or steal the identity of a person, or to plan a person’s murder or robbery, among other crimes.”
They’re getting more savvy. But…that’s alright. Even with an increased awareness of their image, the six months they’ve spent damaging it in fits of pique and rage means most people are already turned off to their message. But, as we’ve seen before and saw again this weekend, that disconnect with the people they’re trying to influence has never seemingly mattered, a strange phenomena within the group as a whole.
Regardless, we will need to keep a closer eye on them than ever before, to make sure that the most complete picture of this “American Spring” is captured and shared with the world at large.
Good luck with that PR business, Andy. Looks like you’ll need a lot of it!