Thursday, September 29, 2011


Reverend Billy fired up the Liberty Plaza crowd this afternoon.

I was watching the chatroom on Livestream at the time, and the room exploded with fury that this ChurchMan had been allowed to "invade" the park to proselytize, just screaming denunciations. People tried to say it was a satirical performance, it was "art," etc. The screamers would have none of it. "No! you can't turn this wonderful protest over to the Church!!!!" Yes, well. The people in the park loved it.

Matt Stoller refers to the "protests" as the Church of Dissent.

Matt Stoller: #OccupyWallStreet Is a Church of Dissent, Not a Protest

After the Reverend Billy, an Iraqi American took the floor to quote an excerpt from an Arabic poem about freedom ("I love to live in Freedom!"). He did the "mic check" version of it -- in Arabic -- which everyone in the park repeated dutifully and seemed to really appreciate. Nevertheless the chatroom went ballistic. "He's a jihadi!"

The mods had to shut down and clear the room repeatedly.

All this suggests that there are some rising tensions over the fact that the action has gone on two weeks without coming up with a long-form statement of issues/demands to satisfy the media with. (There were other things going on that showed the testiness on the ground as well today -- including rain.)

It's to be expected.

Nothing they're doing is easy in any way, no matter how festive it may seem most of the time.

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