Mojo - February 2012

Occupy Oakland's Black Panther Roots

| Wed Feb. 1, 2012 6:01 AM EST

mark MurmannPhoto by Mark Murmann.On Sunday night, a day after the mass arrest of some 400 Occupy Oakland protesters—and journalists including one of my Mother Jones colleagues—many of those who'd been released met outside City Hall to let off steam. Broadcasting through a speaker in a bicycle trailer, members of Occupy Oakland's Anti-Repression Committee denounced the use of "teargas, rubber bullets, and assault grenades." The crowd chanted, "Fuck the cops!" But anger at those who'd encouraged police violence by throwing rocks, ransacking the inside of City Hall, and burning an American flag was hard to find. A veteran member of Occupy Oakland later told me that proponents of nonviolence had largely quit speaking up at Oakland meetings for fear of being shouted down.

The militancy of Occupy Oakland contrasts sharply with the culture of Occupy Wall Street in New York City, where I was embedded this fall. In the weeks leading up to the occupation of Zuccotti Park in September, experts schooled groups of young people in peaceful protest tactics. Calls to occupy the park invariably stressed nonviolence, and the movement's official "Declaration of Solidarity," adopted later that month, proclaimed that "we have peaceably assembled here." Occupiers took turns waving an American flag on the night of the eviction, and even during the most confrontational demonstrations that followed, enforced a code of restraint. During an effort to shut down the New York Stock Exchange, for example, I saw garbage bags that had been tossed into the street by a few rogue protesters get picked up by other activists and put back on the sidewalk. A young anarchist I was shadowing denounced the incident as "stupid black-block shit," showing his disdain for anarchism's militant wing.

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How to Win Florida on $1 Million a Day

| Wed Feb. 1, 2012 6:00 AM EST

In the past 10 days, the pro-Mitt Romney super-PAC Restore Our Future and the pro-Newt Gingrich super-PAC Winning Our future dumped $10.4 million trying to sway Republican voters in the Sunshine State. That's about as much as the total all outside groups had spent at this point in the 2008 election cycle. Where did the money go? MoJo tallied up their spending based on what they'd reported to the Federal Election Commission.

Most of Restore Our Future's spending went to attacking Gingrich. For every dollar spent promoting Romney, the super-PAC spent $25 dragging Gingrich through the mud.

Of the $12 million Winning Our Future has spent so far in this cycle, more than a third left the PAC's coffers in the past week. It spent most of the money talking up Gingrich; only a sliver was dedicated to attacking Romney. 

How did they reach their audience? Restore our Future spent the bulk of their money, $5 million, buying up television and radio spots slamming Gingrich for having "tons of baggage." Since the beginning of January, in Florida alone, Restore our Future has run 3,443 television spots, 1,018 cable ads and 234 radio ads attacking Gingrich.

 

Winning our Future spent $4 million on TV and radio advertising (with at least $1.5 solely on radio).


We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for February 1, 2012

Wed Feb. 1, 2012 5:57 AM EST

A pilot takes the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter up for its first night flight near Edwards Air Force Base, California, on January 18, 2012. (Courtesy photo Tom Reynolds/Lockheed Martin)