99% Misrepresented

The media has got it wrong, again.

Media coverage of the protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral, London has stuck a nice, big, generalizing ‘anti-capitalist’ brand over everyone there. Some reporters I’d expect it from, but frankly I’m down right disappointed in the Independent who made this flippant remark about protesters interrupting the lives of Londoners:

It takes courage to walk among anti-capitalists in a suit”.

These so-called ‘anti-capitalists’ are not fashion police; they represent a vast majority of the population, coined the 99%, who are suffering because of the global economic crisis. They are teachers, graduates, parents both old and young. These people hardly seem the type to threaten suited strangers, but maybe I’m just naïve.

I had a chance to talk to someone who was at the protests last week and he said that some slogans are misleading. One said ‘capitalism is crisis’ but should really have read ‘capitalism is in crisis’. After all, the problem is with the level of greed that has become inherent in the current system and the way that it is being run, not with capitalism as an economic system. There is no need for the rich/poor divide to be so great in the 21st century, just as there is no need for the media to so blatantly ignore the voice of the majority. To put the misrepresentation in perspective, it’s not even the majority of the British public, but of the global society spanning New York, Madrid and Athens.

Apparently those camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral show genuine interest and flock around bankers when they leave their offices to talk to the protesters.  Well, if I were a banker I know what I’d ask:

“Are you happy to see me or are you just tenting?”

If you want to follow a more informed voice, I’d recommend the Guardian.


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