Smithsonian Collects Occupy Wall Street Objects
OCTOBER 27, 2011
Comparing Occupy Wall Street demonstrations to the civil rights movement, the nation’s government-funded museum consortium is collecting materials from rallies across the United States in an effort to “document the spirit of American democracy and the American political process.”
The national movement to “end economic segregation” and social injustice in the U.S. is receiving tons of mainstream media coverage and the Smithsonian evidently considers it a historical development that merits preservation for future generations. So, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has deployed representatives to collect protest signs and other memorabilia from the demonstrations which have been partially organized by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the famously corrupt leftist group with deep ties to President Barack Obama.
Earlier this month Judicial Watch reported that a Massachusetts offshoot of an Occupy Wall Street rally—Take Back Boston—was organized by an ACORN spinoff rebranded as New England 4 Justice after a massive fraud scandal and a series of criminal probes plagued the original group. Read all about the “rebranding of ACORN” in this special JW report about the organization’s transformation into various spinoffs and affiliated groups.
As in other Occupy Wall Street events, the goal in Boston was to get major banks to stop preying on the poor, according to organizers who claim that big banks have a pattern of pushing “bad loans on people of color and the poor.” As a result of the “predatory lending,” foreclosures have skyrocketed in urban communities, they say.
The message has been echoed nationwide, with rowdy participants waving large signs accusing big banks and corporations of committing “crimes against humanity” and others that say things like; “eat the rich,” “capitalism=corruption” and “America, land of the fee, home of the slave.” In Oakland California, where violence erupted and police made arrests this week, various signs ordered participants to “occupy everywhere” and “stop the war on working people.”
With any luck, some of these brilliant logos may soon be in the possession of the Smithsonian. The taxpayer-funded complex, which includes 19 museums and galleries as well as the National Zoological Park and other research facilities, claims it is part of its commitment to document the spirit of American democracy and the American political process. This includes how people express their points of view through political rallies, demonstrations and protests, according to a statement issued by the Smithsonian this month.
Materials from “contemporary events,” such as the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, are “ephemeral” and must be collected immediately, according to Smithsonian officials. Otherwise they are lost to the “historical record.” The museum compares the Wall Street rallies to its “political history collection” that includes objects related to civil rights, women’s suffrage, presidents, the White House and first ladies.
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