The things I do for my readers.
I’ve spent the last few hours doing some pretty interesting investigating into and conversing with (via Twitter) some members of the local “Occupy Charlotte” movement. The movement at its largest has been, according to local estimates, between 300 to 500 – and that’s been on the weekend. During the week, the “occupiers” have been camping out at Old City Hall Uptown. There are some 30 tents, and the workweek-day crowd estimates are around 40. Not surprising since most “oppressed” people have to work M-F, or go to school.
What I discovered tonight is that the local movement is being overseen, supported, and monitored by the notoriously evil global “hacktivist” cyber terrorist Anonymous group. There were numerous attempts at dodging and weaving about the association but in the end, screencaps don’t lie (yes, I’ve got screen caps). I’ve even got documentation of a creepy threat that was issued directly from a local “Anon” to someone who acted in a “spokesperson” role of sorts early on – a person who has now been “exiled” from the group for alleged shady fundraising practices and for alleged “threats” made to Occupy Charlotte campers – threats that apparently couldn’t be reported to the Charlotte Police Department which is …. right across the street from the camp, and which more or less provides security to the camp day and night.
PLEASE let me be the first to say that if said threats WERE made to the Occupy camp by the former self-described “spokesman” as have been alleged, the moron issuing the threats has to be a couple fries short of a Happy Meal for threatening folks PERIOD, but especially right in front of the CMPD. But that being said, an Anonymous hacktivist threat in response, which was posted on YouTube, is an outrageous attempt at rogue-style intimidation/retaliation. What IS this? The Wild West? These alleged threats, again, should have been reported to the police instead of being “handled internally” – unless Occupy Charlotte is trying to go the way of Occupy Baltimore with their own internal judge and jury system …
ANYWAY, the internal problems appear to have led to a state of disarray within the local (to this point non-violent, thankfully) movement as it works its social media angles to try and drum up support. The Twitter hashtag (scroll!) and Facebook pages for this group have been heavy battle zones. Dissention is high. That said, I’m honestly shocked Occ Charlotte doesn’t at the very least look like Occupy Wall Street every day of the week, considering Charlotte is the evil BOA’s HQ and the 2nd (?) largest banking city in America. I mean, the hippie commune atmosphere you see at OWS should pale in comparison to what is seen here, but it hasn’t taken root to the degree I thought it would. Maybe it will in a few weeks as right now the local movement is in its infant stage. Of course, it’s getting colder here too so that will probably impact the numbers of “occupiers.” Add to that the fact that the city does not seem to be keen on budging on their stance that Occupy Charlotte should not be issued a permit to be able to have portapotties on site because it’s against city code (trust me – that has been a HUGE issue).
Some in this local movement appear to support the “support” the Anons are giving them and the entire “Occupy” movement on the whole across the nation (and in fact worldwide) and see nothing wrong with it. However, I suspect some folks don’t have a clue what “Anon” is, let alone know of its affiliation with Occupy Charlotte and the broader Occupy movement. I feel a certain loyalty to the locals here, even if I don’t always agree with them, and it pains me to think they’re being hoodwinked into thinking this movement is about them. If “Anons” indeed are overseeing, monitoring, and supporting Occupy movements – even if covertly – then it becomes about the Anon agenda, not the Average Frustrated Joe’s agenda (they can be two entirely different things). And as much as I disagree with the Occupy Agenda and know that some people are in it just to see what’s in it for them, I realize that there are some well-meaning people who are just frustrated in general who at the same time can be hopelessly naive (I know this – I used to be a liberal, remember?) who want to be a part of something in order to try and make a difference.
Anyway, I hope this made sense. And I sure as heck hope hackers don’t target my site. But if they do, it’s pretty obvious where to look first.