No Protests From the Left–According to Progressive TV Guest

Here’s something you don’t see very often–a progressive person of color on a Sunday morning chat show. There was Van Jones on ABC‘s This Week on April 1.

Also there? Right-wing firebrand Ann Coulter.


But it was something that Jones said that caught my attention.

Well, you know, I think that probably the majority of people who are in the Democratic Party, progressive independents or what I would call post-hope Democrats–we’re Democrats, we did the vote and hope.

And when we–what happened was, we sat back and we let the Tea Party crowd dominate the protests world in the streets. For the first time, we had the biggest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. And there was not one left-wing protest. The right wing was marching. The left wing was munching popcorn, hoping that Obama would do it.

This is a strange observation. Granted, Jones would seem to want to see more of this kind of activism. But in April of 2010, protests against Wall Street greed were happening. In October 2010, a massive rally–One Nation Working Together–attracted thousands to Washington, D.C. A few months earlier, thousands of activists attended the U.S. Social Forum. U.S. Uncut protests across the country took aim at austerity politics. There was the massive uprising in Wisconsin. And of course Occupy Wall Street.

Now most–if not all–of these movements failed to attract, at least at the outset, the kind of corporate media coverage the Tea Party enjoyed. But it’s not as if they didn’t happen.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.