The Occupy movement has officially gone global. The lede on the Washington Post website Saturday was the violence in Rome. The story struck me because some of the worst violence occurred in St. John in Lateran square, where I lived last summer. Since our discussions have analyzed the protests here, I thought it would be interesting to see how European media have been framing the Occupy protests. The Post’s home page framed Saturday’s events as the expansion of American movement. Is that how other countries view it?
La Repubblica, Rome’s most prominent newspaper, did not directly mention any connection to the American protests. Their lede story focused on the shocking violence and the beginning of an international movement. The story said that the peaceful demonstrators separated themselves from the violent mob and held signs that read “We are the 99 percent,” which has become the mantra of the Occupy Wall Street protests. As an American, I made the connection, but the Italian media didn’t spell it out for their audience. Because Rome’s protests were the most devastating, it’s understandable that the Italian media would take that angle in the coverage.
The BBC linked the story to Occupy Wall Street right away with the headline “‘Occupy’ protests at financial crisis go worldwide.” Their story gave a brief rundown of the protests around the world including in London, Madrid, Frankfurt, and Sydney. The BBC framed the protests as frustration at financial mismanagement. Al Jazeera also referred to the expansion of Occupy Wall Street and focused on the events in Rome.
I find it interesting that the original American name “Occupy” name has stuck. As the movement continues to spread, will the name change to reflect a global scale?