Hey, Al Jazeera cares about the Wall Street protests. Shouldn't we?

THE American mainstream media is gradually beginning to pay attention to the Occupy Wall Street movement and its spinoffs springing up in Atlanta, Chicago, Boston and Seattle. But from the very beginning the movement has attracted extensive coverage from Al Jazeera and other Middle Eastern news outlets and Twitter users — probably because they recognize the forces that are reshaping politics across their region.

Indeed, the twin drivers of America’s nascent protest movement against the financial sector are injustice and invisibility, the very grievances that drove the Arab Spring…

If we have learned anything from watching the Arab Spring over the past nine months, it should be that efforts to ridicule, ignore and block these kinds of protests only fuel them further. The only effective response is a political response, of a nature and magnitude that convinces protesters on the streets that they can in fact secure the change they seek within, rather than outside, the system. The news anchors and political commentators who scoff at the Occupy Wall Street marchers’ lack of direction or articulated demands only make them madder and more determined.