The 99% Of The Problem
I spent some time today, way too much in fact, working over my footage from the organically erupted campsite of the “Occupy Binghamton” denizens.
I have to wonder at myself for being able to stand around that long, chatting, probing, questioning, wondering. In the end, out of over one hour of vid, I came away with only 15 minutes of anything which gives a sense of why they are there and what it is like at the protest….
Of course, I went during the day, and the band stand was empty, so what in hell could a girl expect?
Seriously, the most interesting part of the visit was when I was chatting with one young woman and happened to ask if the tents were targeted by pranksters during the night. She told me that a few nights earlier a passing drunk collage student did a belly flop onto one tent and started to pummel away with his fists. This instantly gave me a mental image which had me chuckling off and on for the day.
You cannot hear that part in the video due to the traffic noise. That was a big problem for me with the video, so the edits are the best I could do.
I didn’t find that there was a cohesive message with the four or five that I spoke with. Except that they pretty much parroted “Corporations are corrupt”. And, “The rich have too much – they don’t need that much”. Also they seemed to feel that not enough opportunities exist for the under educated. Maybe they should consider bringing that up with the illegal aliens – they have jobs in that town.
They seemed perfectly fine with absorbing “donations” while saying that they were not looking for handouts. With using local businesses solely for their toilets, and sleeping in a park that they had no permit to camp in.
No one had a real grasp on what brought them there – other than anger at not having opportunities that they admitted never even trying for anyway.
Some were clearly free loaders (very dirtbaggy types), the older protesters seemed to be the average run of the mill malcontents, with the younger ones being chronic quitters.
I honestly tried to be very neutral both in my questions and in my editing. I basically just chatted casually, while taking on a position of having no pre-knowledge of the OWS crap. I tried to keep the close-ups off of the faces of the people that I spoke with as it was not my intention to try and embarrass anyone.