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October 11, 2011

Occupy Demographics: Dirty Hippies?


If you’ve been consuming any of the consternation Occupy Wall Street is kicking up from the right to on-high, you might have heard that the action is mostly comprised of hippy youth. Of course, “Occupy demographics” is tricky territory when it comes to visual media (see our other quick take on Tumblr today) with too much opportunity to skew or reinforce misleading impressions.

With this in mind, I was interested in these AP photos bouncing around today. Of course, it would be one thing to draw assumptions from a random couple of crowd shots from OccupyDC. But that’s not what we’re looking at. Instead, these are photos of organizers holding a General Assembly meeting in Freedom Plaza to consider an offer by the Parks Service to extend their protest permit.

Interested in your read.

(photo: Cliff Owen / AP caption: Demonstrators in Freedom Plaza hold a general assembly meeting to decide if they want to accept a U.S. Park Service Police offer to extend their permit to occupy the park for another four months in Washington, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011.)


  • Anonymous

    What is a dirty hippie, anyway? A person who lives in a commune and eschews soap? Does anybody do that anymore?

    • Anonymous

      But to answer your question – no. These people are obviously not dirty hippies. In fact that’s just about the only characterization that fits them all – Not Dirty Hippies.

  • http://twitter.com/nonie3234 nonie3234

    Here’s a great analysis of the “We Are the 99%” Tumbler: 

    http://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/parsing-the-data-and-ideology-of-the-we-are-99-tumblr/

    Not exactly the same as the OWS people, but connected. 

  • bks

    After watching the GOP debate tonight, I’d say the Occupying forces make a lot of sense.

        –bks

    • omen

      occupying forces….what a wonderful pun. blows my mind how empowering this movement has been.

  • bks

    After watching the GOP debate tonight, I’d say the Occupying forces make a lot of sense.

        –bks

  • Thirdeye Pushpin

    1 % of the population views them as dirty hippies…

    • Anonymous

      Which 1%? Oh, wait…

  • glenn

    I guess what separates “patriots” from dirty hippies are the teabags hanging off the brim of your hat.

    • http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ Ralfast

      And the lack of assault rifles. Once you carry one of those, you become a “credible” protest fighting for “serious” issues such as extra-strength knee-pads.

  • omen

    look at that guy with the beard. and the other guy in the cap with the camera. they’re having a ball. and the lady in the middle is just drinking up the vibe. all the people with arms up high are singing hallelujah!

    who are these anal retentive mr. potters who would be so miserable as to find fault with this? the high spirits in the photos is infectious.

    billionaires might have wealth, but we have the spirit of community and the espirit de corp forged by common cause that money can’t buy.

    Shiny happy people holding hands

    Shiny happy people laughing

  • omen

    look at that guy with the beard. and the other guy in the cap with the camera. they’re having a ball. and the lady in the middle is just drinking up the vibe. all the people with arms up high are singing hallelujah!

    who are these anal retentive mr. potters who would be so miserable as to find fault with this? the high spirits in the photos is infectious.

    billionaires might have wealth, but we have the spirit of community and the espirit de corp forged by common cause that money can’t buy.

    Shiny happy people holding hands

    Shiny happy people laughing

  • WordSmith

    One thing about the finger/hand waves…I attend AA meetings with the good fortune of having a home group that twice monthly (we met weekly) has an interpreter for the deaf. Often when agreeing or connecting with what a speaker says someone will respond by wiggling their fingers or hands – especially so when applause was appropriate. Not to mean that it doesn’t come from other sources; however, that’s the source I know.

    • omen

      yes, one of the speakers at our rally suggested, in order to help members of the deaf community feel welcome, we wave our arm back and forth in a window wiper motion (indicating support of the speech) as an alternative or in addition to applauding.

  • http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ Ralfast

    “Dirty” seems to be the new brush which the Right wants to paint #OWS. That they leave a mess, never clean after themselves and even do their potty business on questionable places like the top of a police cruiser.

    Who the hell resurrected Spiro Agnew to the the right wing commentary anyway?

  • Chris Fox

    “Dirty hippies” is far too useful an epithet ever to be allowed to die.  As we’ve seen the last couple of days and as Digby at Hullabaloo has remarked, even as these visuals contradict the stereotype, the Right has transposed it into the realm of the olfactory, where it isn’t subject to refutation.

  • Soliver571

    Losers and takers. Plain and simple.  And morons.  They believe what they are spoon-fed by the media.  The progs in government put in motion the conditions that resulted in housing failure, bank bailouts and jobs moving overseas.  This is “Occupy” movement is orchestrated from the White House and is full of “useful idiots”.

    Part of the 53%.

    • Chris Fox

      That’s some deep analysis.  Paranoid much?

  • Soliver571

    Losers and takers. Plain and simple.  And morons.  They believe what they are spoon-fed by the media.  The progs in government put in motion the conditions that resulted in housing failure, bank bailouts and jobs moving overseas.  This is “Occupy” movement is orchestrated from the White House and is full of “useful idiots”.

    Part of the 53%.

  • CommieHater

    Good comeback, jerk…NOT!

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