How a Canadian Magazine Sparked Occupy

Movement's origins lie in 'Adbusters' idea
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2011 10:43 AM CDT
In this Oct. 5, 2011 file photo, a coalition of students and their supporters from New York University and The New School chant march towards Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

(Newser) – The Occupy Wall Street protesters have no leader, no cohesive message, and, as NPR points out, no single name—the movement has also been called “American Autumn” and "We Are the 99%." So where did these demonstrations, which went first nationwide and then global, come from? “I get Adbusters, so that's how I heard about it,” one protester explains, referring to the Canadian anti-consumerism magazine that first proposed an occupation of Wall Street beginning Sept. 17.

The magazine, run by adman Kalle Lasn, has long delighted in subverting traditional advertising by creating fake ads, like ones featuring a camel named Joe Chemo. In one 2006 speech, Lasn spoke against modern capitalism and said that advertising professionals, in particular, “have the power to change the world.” But Adbusters won’t claim control of Occupy Wall Street, and wouldn’t even give NPR an interview for fear of shifting the spotlight away from the streets. (Click to see which GOP candidate's backer also handed Adbusters a major donation...)

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