by Robert Kane Pappas (originally published on Buzzflash.com on September 29, 2011)
I have to meet with a Wall Street friend later today – partly to seek funding for my latest documentary – and I am going to wear a suit. Usually, I come as I dress, which is casual; but today I am going to put on a suit, just in case I decide to join the demonstration.
For me, it goes back to the 2000 Presidential Election recount and “The Brooks Brothers Riot” in Miami-Dade County, Florida on November19th. Something happened that day. What looked like a spontaneous demonstration of local citizens about unfair counting practices was actually a few dozen GOP operatives from out of state. New York Republican Congressman John Sweeney was quoted as saying – with regard to the recount – “shut it down.”
Canvassing Board members were pushed, shoved and intimidated. They then cancelled the recount. Bush and his top aides remained silent about these tactics. The underlying attitude was, “we’re taking this election, period – laws be damned.” Later, Bush and Cheney jokingly referred to the incident in a celebratory conference call with supporters.
The information I remember receiving from Network coverage was that white men in suits were protesting the canvassing board. The impression was that these fellows couldn’t really be paid rioters because they were so nicely dressed. No one was arrested.
These people were thugs, but several identified in the video record were later hired by the Bush administration. One went on to work for Koch Industries.
Yesterday, on CNBC, I heard the demonstrators referred to by one host as “hippies.” On various programs, I heard them called wackos, druggies and radical lefties. Unlike the Brooks Brother Rioters, many Wall Street demonstrators have been arrested, some have been pepper sprayed.
I think demonstrators should begin wearing suits to the demonstration. Maybe even pose as Wall Street workers who have come to “see the light,” have come to realize that unchecked corporate power and corporate “personhood” is harming their children as well, even if indirectly.
So, see you on Wall Street. I’ll be wearing a nice navy Brooks Brothers suit.