It was tax day in 2009 that saw the first Tea Party protests, and the FOX-led media firestorm that’s followed has made it seem as though the Tea Party’s the only game in town if you want to complain about bailouts.
This year, though, as tax day approaches, a new wave of protest is sweeping the country. On February 26, inspired by the UK, US Uncut actions took place at Bank of America branches around the country—and all fifty states held solidarity rallies to support Wisconsin’s protesters.
Taxpayers connected with National People’s Action and other community-based groups occupied a Bank of America, protested the Attorneys General and the Republican Congressional leaders this week. And as James Mumm of National People’s Action noted on GRITtv yesterday, this one actually represents the majority. And diversity.
Compare the coverage with what followed every Tea Party outburst and you’d weep.
In February 2009, when one CNBC correspondent spoke out from the floor of the stock exchange against taxpayers’ help to beleaguered mortgage holders, Rick Santelli’s “rant” went viral thanks to web-based front groups of the corporate-funded right. Tax day protests a couple of months later were covered live on FOX and by June’s healthcare meetings, even a single wild-eyed ranter could snag prime time attention, on every show, on every network.
This time the attention’s critical. The Empire Justice Center is predicting a “tsunami” of foreclosures coming, and Bank of America is refusing to write down mortgage debt. Republicans in Congress want to eliminate the Home Affordable Modification Program, which helps people keep their homes and Democrats are flagging in their support.
How big do protests have to be for money media to pick them up? We don’t know, but we know it’s out of all proportion when the critique goes against the super-rich. Luckily the action’s picking up. Now, will media spotlight? We in the independent media will do our best to keep up. But we’re going to need your help.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv and editor of At The Tea Party, out now from OR Books. GRITtv broadcasts weekdays on DISH Network and DIRECTv, on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter and be our friend on Facebook.