Occupy Wall Street

Everybody Wants a Piece of Occupy Everything


In spite of some official attempts to jump on the Occupy bandwagon, Glenn Greenwald optimistically suggests that a movement directly in opposition to Wall Street won't fall into line and support the Democrats after maybe some token rabble-rousing, because Democrats are, after all, best friends forever with Wall Street — especially Obama. 

Meanwhile, The Awl points to some all over the place conservative attempts to figure out what the hell is going on here. (They also include this flashback to January, when 99ers—who, it was posited, "may be the new Tea Party"—meant people who had reached the final week of their unemployment benefits. There's plenty of potential demographic overlap between 99ers and The 99 Percent.)

Mentioned is The American Spectator's Patrick Howley and his apparent trip into self-made agent provocateur territory during DC off-shoots of the protests.

And, The Weekly Standard gives us author Matt Labash's two-day trip to Occupy Wall Street where he meets a Nazi who points out that National Socialism is still Socialism, a girl obsession with gender minutia, and various anarchists who are obviously just there to get free food and ground to sleep on. He also speaks to a cranky blue-collar worker whose lunches are being impeded by hippie drum circles, and an immigrant food truck guy who is losing business due to all the people giving out free food, generally making a spectacle of themselves, and keeping the suits away.

Labash denies that the highlighted rabble was all too convenient (the aforementioned worker who just wants to eat lunch in peace is working on World Trade Center 4 after all): 

Movement types will doubtless accuse me of cherry-picking protesters. But during my two days in the park, I have every variety of nutcake conspiracy theory pushed my way, up to and including Wall Street having created communism and the American Zionist Council assassinating JFK. But don't take my word for it. New York magazine went to the trouble of surveying 100 protesters whom they identified as being "in it for the long haul." 

What they found probably won't sit too well with the labor leaders and Tweeting celebrities who've joined Occupy Wall Street in solidarity, at least if they pause to pay actual attention to what they're supporting. Of those surveyed, 37 percent said capitalism was inherently immoral and can't be saved. When asked to rate their own liberalism, 41 percent were "fed up with Democrats" and "believe the country needs an overhaul." Which might be the position you'd expect from most principled, yet disillusioned, liberal activists. But a full 34 percent were "convinced the U.S. government is no better than, say, al Qaeda." If those numbers hold as the movement grows, that will mean that despite the ungodly amount of hype that OWS has received in the last two weeks, the "99 percent" of America they represent is more like 99 percent of a Noam Chomsky book discussion group or 99 percent of a labor mixer for Wobblies

Worth a read, with maybe a grain of salt. Certainly the suggestion that this is the return of the less partisan, still economically ignorant left (with some more moderate, fed-up folks falling into line) seems convincing.

Reason has been following the protests for a while, both in New York and DC. Particularly worth noting is Anthony L. Fisher's Reason.tv stop at Occupy Wall Street.