British history has been punctuated by stories of turbulent priests more often than by stories of recalcitrant congregations. As Thomas à Becket discovered to his detriment, it is usually the clergy — and not their flock — who find themselves in danger of being ousted. As of October 16, London’s famous St. Paul’s cathedral sits squarely in this tradition, with its dean, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, now publicly regretting the leniency he initially showed the camped-out members of “Occupy London Stock Exchange” — the British franchise of the now-global “Occupy” brigade. If Dean Knowles had expected to be afforded the same respect by OLSX that he has become accustomed to from his parishioners, he was sorely mistaken. Since their free pass was issued, the people-in-tents have made it blindingly obvious that they are not merely differently dressed members of the City of London’s laity, but, literally, occupiers intent on holding the fort at all costs… ›› Read on National Review Online
Posts from October, 2011
Outside City Hall, the crowd waited patiently on the sidewalk. A man wearing an Occupy Wall Street button asked politely for a show of hands: “How many of the people here are from the occupation?” he asked. “I’m just trying to get a number.” ›› Read on National Review Online
This was originally posted to National Review Online on October 20, 2011. You can view the original post here.
I have found both anger and frustration in Zuccotti Park, but it did not prepare me for what I happened upon last night when the sun went down. Wandering among the protesters, away from the chain of malcontents which forms a permanent fence around the park, I met a new character, one whose role in the movement has hitherto been obfuscated by the shouting: his name is Sadness. Speak to those in the vanguard for more than a few seconds and the topic will inexorably veer sharply into moon-bat territory — 9/11 “truth,” Jewish conspiracies, sorcery, fantasies of mass execution, a New World Order — but, in the beating heart of the commune, my interlocutors wanted instead to talk about loss… ›› Read on National Review Online
The number of people participating in the Occupy Wall Street sit-ins because they are angry that their education has not yielded the fruits that they hoped it would becomes more apparent by the day. Many of the protesters I have met are understandably ruffled that they are unemployed, and they often finish their remonstrations with a non-sequitur, delivered as if it were a knockout blow: “And I went to college!” Well, one might ask, “So what?” ›› Read on National Review Online
The Occupy Wall Street protests have been notable for their inchoate nature as much as anything else. At its root, OWS’s brotherhood of anger largely comprises rebels without a cause and is punctuated by those either young enough to lament that they missed the Woodstock generation by a long shot, or old enough to regret that the naive political ideas of their time never came to fruition. Try as they might, neither the OWS leaders (sorry, quasi-autonomous horizontal change facilitators) nor the mainstream media can develop a compelling or coherent narrative. Still, that hasn’t stopped them from trying. Here are some of the best attempts to thread a sense of coherence through a movement which simply hasn’t exhibited any, and to accord the patina of respectability to a group that has very little in common with itself… ›› Read on National Review Online