Clark's characterization of demonstrators is noticeably lacking a deeper analysis or research. Suggesting demonstrators have no aim and are just an unruly riotous gang suggests a lack of understanding not only of the Occupy movement, but social movements in general, the history of May Day and the current and historic police response to such movements.
Those who know me won't be surprised that I am pointing to history, but it's particularly relevant since these demonstrations were attached to celebrations of a holiday with roots in 1886 Chicago, a movement that is the entire reason we (or at least some of us) have an eight-hour work day.
To engage in an uncritical dialogue about news items is a disservice to the public and also turns readers towards alternative news sources — especially the internet — because they don't feel like they can trust "the media." I would like to invite Clark and other local journalists to engage in a deeper level of reporting, analysis and conversation not just about May Day actions, but in general.
I don't care if we agree, in fact I prefer we didn't. But we should at least articulate our position or analysis before dismissing a wide range of people. Even Clark's language that Greensboro's May Day events "didn't amount to much" is unclear and dismissive. Didn't amount to much because it was a relatively small turn out, or because there was only one arrest? Didn't amount to much because nothing was broken and there wasn't a bloody photo op?
It worries me that this language not only dismisses everyone at the rally (and makes no mention of the fact that postal workers celebrated May Day and collaborated with City Council to fight the closure of the Four Seasons post office) but also furthers the paradigm that the "mainstream media" doesn't care about protests unless someone is cracked over the head with a police baton or throws a rock through a window. Certainly the News & Record has covered protests here that don't fit that bill (because such things don't really happen here) but Clark's language furthers that perception.