Click above to watch a Reason.tv report from lower Manhattan's ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstration. It may well be the last place you'd expect to find a Mitt Romney (!) fan, but the former Massachusetts governor will doubtless take whatever votes he can these days.
Michael Tracey goes beyond caricatures and, like the vid above and unlike virtually all mainstream coverage, actually talks at length with various protesters. Snippet:
On Wednesday, for instance, I chatted with Jack Zwaan, a self-described "Tea Party Libertarian" and Ron Paul supporter who had flown in from Little Rock, Arkansas, to attend the demonstration. Zwaan wielded a humongous Gadsden flag—yes, the kind of flag commonly seen at Tea Party protests.
Lucy Steigerwald headed down to Occupy DC. A part of what she found:
Samantha Goldman, 24, a graduate student studying education, is from Philly. She was wearing a World Can't Wait shirt with a missile and the query, "Is it really okay when Obama does it?" She supports the Occupy movements, but "We have to think about 99 percent of the planet....[Americans] are the one percent in a certain way." And "the problem is capitalism and the solution is revolution....The U.S. needs, in order to stay the number one superpower, to take resources from all over the world." Her hoped-for, if far off, communist revolution would have to be "by force."
Seth McKelvey talked with more DC protesters including one who said the Ron Paul fans and the Occupant crowd were "probably agree on 70 percent of all the issues." But, writes McKelvey:
Calls to end the wars overseas, corporate bailouts, and the Federal Reserve, along with other libertarian-friendly causes were in evidence as well.
These rays of hope were in no way the majority, of course. For every cardboard sign demanding justice in Guantanamo Bay, others asked for the government to pay back their student loans for them.
David Harsanyi has written up an unauthorized manifesto for the "99 Percenters." Among the planks:
We demand a minimum wage of $10, no ... make it $20. We earned it. And we demand the end of "profiteering," because there is no better way to end joblessness than stopping the growth of capital. We also demand a maximum wage law, because selfish American dreams need a firm ceiling.
And Reason-friendly scribe Garrett Quinn lets the Occupy Boston crowd speak for itself here: