Last Saturday (Oct. 15) was a day of protests worldwide. For coverage and pictures from some of the events, see here
It was probably inevitable after such a massive outpouring of world anger, but today has been marked mostly with condescending, inexplicable, or just plain loony commentary about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Among the highlights, so to speak:
- Pat Robertson says Occupy Wall Street is made up of "clowns" and "nuts", that President Obama is behind it all, and that he is "inciting people to revolt." Now, I'd just like you to remember, when watching this, that this guy is considered a preacher.
- Donald Trump agrees Obama's rhetoric is fueling the movement, and thinks the administration needs to put a stop to the protests.
- Bill Keller, in the New York Times, wants to know if you are bored by "the soggy sleep-ins and warmed-over anarchism of Occupy Wall Street." Sigh.
- Good news: income inequality is now enough of a recognized issue that even Eric Cantor is going to address it in a speech. Bad news: his speech is going to be about "how we make sure the people at the top stay there." Swing and a miss, Cantor.
- Public sentiment in New York City is overwhelming: let the protestors stay.
- Ex-banker and GOP Senate candidate Tom Leppert, who used to be chairman of Washington Mutual's "audit committee" before that bank went down the tubes, think the protestors have a "flawed sense of entitlement" and "think they should be receiving government handouts." Yes. A failed banker is chastising people about "entitlement" and "government handouts." You make irony cry, Tom Leppert.
- Doing him one better and/or worse, a Florida supporter of Senate candidate Adam Hasner says Occupy Orlando is a secret plot by the Muslim Brotherhood to something-something-something. Because he saw a Muslim guy there.
- Occupy New Haven is underway. Let's use this to play a game of "spot the difference":
[P]rotesters showed up for a variety of reasons. Occupier Randy Laist said he came to express support for “humane and rational” social causes, while Jason Kulas described his top four demands as something to counteract the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, banking reform, the elimination of corporate tax loopholes, and income tax reform. [...] Lauren Phillips ’12 added that she would like to see better a better form of redistribution to address the fact that only 1 percent of American society possesses 42 percent of the nation’s wealth.
An hour after the protests began, the first of around 30 “Occupy Occupy” counterprotesters appeared, drawing support from students at Yale and four other Connecticut universities. Michael Knowles ’12, chairman of the Yale College Republicans and one of the organizers of the Occupy Occupy New Haven group, said he spoke with some of the protesters.
“No single occupier — and I spoke with dozens — could name a single solution to the problems for which they had assembled; most couldn’t even name the problems,” Knowles wrote in an email Saturday after the counterprotest. “Some of the protesters were quite nice, but even the most reasonable was unable to discuss basic economics, public policy or what they were protesting.”
A journalist goes to an Occupy protest and finds people who can quite clearly state what their protest is about, as well as tick off some policy recommendations to enact it. A young conservative goes to the same protest and can't find a single person who can explain it to him. Yeah, go figure. That guy is probably destined to be a politician.
- In Orlando:
Occupy Miami, a local group protesting in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, is currently occupying government center in Miami. The group held a rally this Saturday that drew more than 1,000 supporters.
Kit Rafferty, executive director of South Florida Jobs with Justice, tells The Florida Independent that, together with multiple labor unions, the group is supporting the occupiers and their “right to peacefully assemble and to build power for the 99 percent.” [...]
Rafferty says that the AFL-CIO, SEIU and the painters union, to name a few, are standing behind the protesters. She says that even the president of the national chapter of the AFL-CIO has expressed his support for the group.
- The Occupy movement is indirectly spurring union recruiting efforts:
Karen Nussbaum, the executive director of Working America, tells me that this actually dwarfs their most successful recruiting during the Wisconsin protests. “In so many ways, Wisconsin was a preview of what we’re now seeing,” Nussbaum says. “We thought it was big when we got 20,000 members in a month during the Wisconsin protests. This shows how much bigger this is.” [....]
Nussbaum says that her organizers report that new recruits often mention the protests in a positive light, even though they have very little in common in cultural terms.
- Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas stands up.
- Tom Tomorrow.
- Cornel West was arrested Sunday on the steps of the Supreme Court during an Occupy DC protest of the Citizens United decision.
- Because the hashtag (#) looks kind of a little like a symbol on a hat Charlie Chaplin wore in a movie, the Occupy Wall Street protestors are neo-Nazis. This may be the most batshit insane thing you have ever read. Be warned.
Occupy Wall Street is one month old today. Doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon, either. For over 60 articles a day on Occupy Wall Street, follow the Occupy Wall Street group and the Occupy Wall Street tag right here on Daily Kos.