Occupy Wall Street has brought issues to the table often ignored by the two-party system. It also offered the mainstream a glimpse into what Obama's first term had inflicted upon a cross section of his now vocally opposed base.
It's no mis-statement to call this movement center left. There's an activist socialist center pulsing behind its encampments and protests.
Anarchists are also numerous, which raises government eye brows. They have a violent American history and law enforcement alerts when they start organizing.
ironically, Occupy Wall Street is considered too radical for liberal mayors whose response is riot police- not olive branches. It represents a sometimes disturbing snapshot of schisms within the American Left.
Another irony is how many Occupiers don't support Obama. Their critique of his economic impasse is as harsh as conservatives. The wave of unemployment; foreclosures; homelessness etc didn't drive them to the polls- it drove them to the streets; parks and abandoned buildings!
Occupy New Orleans, popularly known as Occupy NOLA is the group I've encountered I coordinated security for their camp in the last month before eviction came at the hands of hundreds of police officers.
My role for years in protests of all types is as a parade marshal and general peace keeper insuring marchers and observers obey the law and common courtesy.
While a populist, I'm no revolutionary. I simply strongly believe Americans should use the First Amendment as a proxy to political violence and insurrection common place elsewhere.
I love America. I'm a registered Republican and self-styled " arch enemy of sun tanned socialists and chocolate Klansmen ( inner city thugs ). "
Occupy NOLA is a peaceful branch of the national movement. I've even met a few center right moderates and conservatives here who felt tents and rallies trumped using votes and local Republican committees.
What troubles me about Occupy nationally is the poverty and instability they high light also offers socialists a chance to do what they always do: recruit vulnerable Americans into an ideology that nearly destroyed Eastern Europe; Africa and Black America if we're not careful.
The vagabond aspect of Occupy alarms conservatives. Legions of unwashed, unkempt protesters at a time of national crisis frightens stakeholders barely holding on by their finger tips.
Hopefully Occupy Wall Street will re-think this image. Allegations of drugs and other crimes doesn't help their cause either.
History has yet to decide whether Occupy Wall Street were rebels with cause or misfits.
As a close observer I see their points about bankers undue influence over politicians fitting seamlessly on a Tea Party or GOP platform.
The rest, hygiene issues and squatter mentality, isn't helping them win cross over appeal. Many conservatives and even mainstream liberals dismiss them as bums and addicts trying to make America their flop house.
Occupy Wall Street is a sign that the social contract is in trouble. As a "boring" activist I offer young radicals alternatives to perpetual protest and despondency.
Personal responsibility and self-respect aren't far right propaganda- they're ways free people advance themselves and society. simultaneously.
Hopefully a Romney victory will help all concerned return to much needed normalcy.
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