Occupy Atlanta has been in the media a fair amount. Mainly for being a cult-like, collectivist, zombie-hive, unfortunately. Of course this is taken out of context – the context is, that the protestors are not allowed to use public announcement systems. Having the group repeat what the speaker says, is intended to enable more people (towards the back) to hear the message. The same method is being used everywhere the Occupy Wall Street movement has spread.
To be honest, this gathering doesn’t appeal to me at all. I understand the need for speakers to be heard, but it creeps me out to see large groups of people mindlessly reciting whatever is being said. It requires exactly the same kind of all-accepting submissiveness that people are now starting to wake up from, and fight against! This meeting is at once disorganized and authoritarian. The atmosphere here is oppressive in my mind, totally the opposite of the electricity in the air in New York.
Not only that, scenes like this creep a lot of people out in America. While the media have pulled one bit of slander after another out of thin air, dumping whatever insults they could on the “smelly hippies,” videos like this give the media corporations live ammo. Scenes like this do scare a lot of people, and the media would like nothing more than to make people fear the movement.
The big challenge is not to take the system down – it is already taking itself down, as Žižek observed. The challenge will be replacing the current system with one that is not the same or worse. The challenge is, finding leaders who will not be corrupted by power.
In this video, congressman John Lewis patiently waits to address the crowd, while the speaker talks and the crowd chants. At some point a “collective brainfart” occurs, and the decision is made not to let the congressman speak. This video has drawn some of the most negative attention to the movement so far – and a considerable amount of it!