Marches, Media, and the NPT

2 May, 2005

From: Loring Wirbel

I'm going to leave it to Bruce and others to provide a succinct wrap-up of our very well-attended and upbeat Global Network conference in New York City, but I had to take time before collapsing from exhaustion to say something about the unexpected huge attendance at the Sunday Non-Proilferation Treaty (NPT) rally, and the embarrassing US media coverage of said event.   NPT has been a joke for at least a decade or more, and the nuclear issue has lost a lot of steam with activists, so we expected a thousand or two folks to join the march from UN to Central Park.  Instead, at least 10,000 marchers came streaming in unexpectedly from all kinds of places.  Organizers may have been on the high side in claiming 40,000, but it was certainly much better than my wildest dreams.

As far as media coverage, the NY Times buries a small story in its
inner metro pages, ABC News gives us a short brief, and that's about it.  No national coverage from Yahoo or Google sources.  What is more frustrating than lack of coverage of the protest itself, is that newspapers throughout the world on Monday are leading their international coverage with stories about NPT, pointing the finger of blame at the US for not working on disarmament issues at all.  On the way home from the airport last night, BBC radio at midnight led with the story.  In the US, no newspaper, TV, Internet source I can find  is covering the NPT, and it has plenty to do with the fact that the US spoils the party.  When nations agree that we're the main source of problems in the world, the media in this country simply clams up so as not to disturb Americans' poor little self image.

I find it highly ironic that, just before Michio Kaku's keynote
Saturday night, Tom Neilson played a searing song about the news media providing us with news-as-entertainment, since the Michael Jackson trial is after all far more important than the condition of the poor.  This morning, almost no one mentioned the 1000 people who came out in Colorado Springs to challenge Focus on the Family on Sunday, or the 10,000 who came out to protest US positions on NPT in NYC, but everyone had plenty of stories about the runaway Georgia bride being nabbed in Albuquerque.  A woman behind me on the march Suinday kept hollering, "America, wake up!  Throw away your Prozac!"  I'm afraid that's impossible.

See also: Report on GN Conference and Pictures from the demonstration


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