Excuse me, is this street occupied?

Peter Jackson
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Thanks be to God. Those dirty, urinating, lazy, misguided vagabonds have finally been kicked out of Zuccotti Park.

(That is, unless they've moved in again overnight.)

Those slovenly, defecating, socialist hippies have been squatting in the lower Manhattan green space for almost two months now.

Squatting and urinating. And defecating.

They call themselves Occupy Wall Street. They say they are just frustrated American citizens that want the government to listen to their concerns.

But it was just a flash in the pan.

That is, unless you count all the other protests that have sprung up all over the U.S. Big cities and small cities. And in Canada. And around the world. And Labrador City.

But they have no message. They don't know what they want.

Unless you count the message that the wealthiest one per cent of Americans have more tax loopholes than the other 99 per cent. And that the government must stand firm on measures to rein in financial recklessness. And that investment firms must have a minimum amount of equity (like real estate and commodities and cold, hard cash) before they bet billions of dollars they don't have on future events.

And unless you count the message to Congress to start fixing the problems, rather than stonewalling routine debt ceiling votes and risking the collapse of the entire social welfare system, throwing seniors and poor people out on the street - all so that the wealthiest one per cent of fat cats ... er, job creators ... don't have to chip in that little bit extra to help raise the country out of the mire it's in.

Ah yes, but their message is muddled.

They have no spokespeople or prominent supporters.

Unless you count Michael Moore and Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky, and numerous other well-known people who have spoken favourably of the movement - including U.S. President Barack Obama and several other politicians, Democrat and Republican.

But there are no grassroots voices, people at the heart of the movement.

Unless you count New York worker and blogger Jesse Lagreca, from whom a Fox News reporter made the mistake of asking for a comment, not realizing that Lagreca knew exactly why he was protesting, and knew exactly why their message wasn't getting through on networks such as Fox News, which has consistently distorted news coverage to promote the agenda of its owner Rupert Murdoch and his corporate amigos.

The clip never aired.

At least the Wall Street Occupiers are nothing like that solid grassroots movement known as the Tea Party. That is, grassroots in the sense that they didn't have any leaders - except for those who ended up running for office in Washington - and they succeeded entirely on the force of their message - not counting substantial funding provided by the right-wing establishment.

Unlike those in Zuccotti Park, the Tea Partiers were heard loud and clear by Fox News, who coddled them every day. One former Fox TV host - a man who rarely lets a waking hour pass without uttering the words "Hitler" or "Nazi," or issuing an obtuse call for armed insurrection - even held a rally for them to attend.

Some of them came in revolutionary era costume.

Yes, the Tea Partiers had a clear message. Get government out of our lives. But keep your hands off my medicare. Stop the communists and the fascists from gaining a foothold and tearing up the Constitution. Only the job creators can create the jobs. But the government isn't doing enough to help the unemployed.

And so, Zuccotti Park is finally free of the urinating anarchists, 30 per cent of whom endorse violence, 20 per cent of whom condone rape and pillaging, and 10 per cent of whom regularly consume human flesh after sunset.

The numbers don't lie.

Zuccotti Park, of course, used to be Liberty Square, until the real estate company which owns it - a Canadian company - renamed it in 2006 after its chairman, New York businessman John Zuccotti.

Free at last. Free at last.

Peter Jackson is The Telegram's commentary editor. Email: pjackson@thetelegram.com.

Organizations: Occupy Wall Street, Fox News, Wall Street Occupiers

Geographic location: Zuccotti Park, Manhattan, Canada Labrador New York U.S. Washington Liberty Square

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Recent comments

  • Herb Morrison
    November 18, 2011 - 08:42

    Well-said Mr Chaulk

  • The Economist
    November 16, 2011 - 15:59

    Peter when you write an opinion which can be read by all of the general public you have to expect that some commentors will have very limited understanding of the issues and will respond with slogans and name calling because of their lack of knowledge. These people consider themselves to be more informed than the rest of the public (know-it-alls), but are just showing their ignorance (lack of knowledge). I guess these people are going to retire on Old Age and CPP. If they had a good job with a pension they would know that all pensions are based on the assumption that the contributions will earn a return of 4-5 % over the years in order to grow. But at present plans are having a hard time reaching his goal an will therefore have shortfalls all because of paying for the problems created by the exxcesses of that 1%. But that doesn't matter to commentors like these as they will always be around trying to suck money out of the rest of the Public and get a free ride.

  • Peter Jackson
    November 16, 2011 - 15:21

    A quick note to Carl, Lane, et al... If you can't spare a moment to think about anything going on in the rest of the world, don't take it out on me. I spare plenty of moments for local issues. Thanks for reading.

    • Geoff Chaulk
      November 16, 2011 - 17:36

      Right on Peter J - its important to know about what happens elsewhere in this crazy world, and to stand up to the guys who won't even use their full names when criticizing someone else - who does. Geoff Chaulk, St. John's

  • Lane
    November 16, 2011 - 15:08

    I agree with Carl. Canada's left wingers always criticize Conservatives for being too much like the US, but now they are copying a US protest movement that, according to this article, is all about "sending a message to Congress" about "the wealthiest one percent of Americans". The article criticizes the Tea Party and Fox news, and praises Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky, etc. These people and things are all foreign to me. Doesn't Peter Jackson have any Canadian people and issues to write about?

  • David
    November 16, 2011 - 14:06

    So those who claim to be the 99% are protesting the evil 1%. Well, one doesn't need to be a math expert to figure out that they are actually the much-less-than 0.001% who came up with a catchy, but patently absurd slogan, to justify being expensive, public nuisances. And the only thing they're hanging around for now is becasue they want the one last spectacle of confronting the police with violence. Yay....a lawless world of caveman-like thugs is SO much more desireable than a world where computers get invented, diseases get cured, and society's standard of living improves. Like Newfoundland lobsters watching any ambitious ones crawling out of the crate for sometihng better ---- let's pull 'em back in!

  • Eli
    November 16, 2011 - 11:48

    Protests in the U.S., Canada, all over the world...AND LABRADOR CITY? I always thought Labrador City was actually part of the world. Stupid me.

  • Anon
    November 16, 2011 - 10:21

    Turner:"Why don't you ask the people if they support that kind of military operation" Higgins: "No! Ask them later, Ask them when people who have never known hunfer go hungry and thirsty, Ask them when people who've never known cold, have no heat in their homes. Ask them when they're cold, dirty and hungry how we should exercise our foreign policy, they won't want us to ask, they'll just want us to get it for them" --------br-------- What all of you naysayers fail to realize is that if you ignore the occupy protesters now as irrelevant and lower than you, you'll find there is no one there to help you when the collapse hits - and it is coming. IF ANYONE knew how our monetary system actually worked, If they knew anything about Geithner, Bernanke, John Foster and Allan Dulles, AB Buzzy Krongard, John Deutsch, David Doherty, Stanley Sporkin, Oliver North, Bill Casey, Clark Clifford, Prescott Bush or Hank Greenspan, they would be shouting in the streets with the other occupy protesters demanding the end of their enslavement and the encouragement of rationality. But I fear many of you will disregard this until the time comes for violence. Occupy may very well be the LAST PEACEFUL movement before it starts to get very, very, bloody.

  • Carl
    November 16, 2011 - 09:14

    I'm not sure why Jackson is so obsessed with American news, politics, etc., or why the rest of us should care. The so-called 'occupy' protestors in Canada are utterly irrelevant.

    • polically Incorrect
      November 16, 2011 - 10:55

      Right on Carl. There is no wealth gap in Canada. Likewise the interests of all citizens are well represented equally in Ottawa which explains the absence of lobbyists on Parliament Hill. There are no environmental issues in Canada -- especially in Alberta, and there is no poverty (except among the rich). One only has to look at the majestic skyline of Toronto where trade union towers dominate. And we can all be proud that our government never supports despotic regimes in the interests of maintain the paltry earnings of our well-meaning corporations.

  • Chantal
    November 16, 2011 - 07:43

    Well said. Interesting remark about Zucotti Park.