It doesn’t help that the protests are based on a false premise. The theme is “We are the 99 percent,” meaning the protesters resent the 1 percent wealthiest Americans and claim to represent the rest of the 99 percent of the population. This is inaccurate. 99 percent of the population does not support the radical protesters and their goals. By falsely claiming to represent everyone, they are turning off most Americans.
The protesters are not the equivalent of the Tea Party on the left. They are much more radical. The Tea Party represents folks generally fed up with government spending, which is fairly mainstream. In contrast, communists and socialists are behind the Occupy protests. The symbol of the Occupy protests is the socialist emblem of a hand in a fist. A speaker at the Occupy Oakland protest denounced capitalism and said it needs to be replaced by a revolution of communism and socialism. A protester tweeted that the Constitution must be replaced. Another speaker demanded an increase in the minimum wage to $20/hr and others called for free college tuition. The protesters resent the rich, and want to take their money and redistribute it. A hippy protester at the Occupy San Francisco protest strummed on his guitar singing, “We got to have 100 percent.”
Considering it is Congress that makes the laws, it is peculiar that the protesters chose to specifically target big banks. Many Jews are bankers. Several protesters admitted they have a problem with Jews. In the early part of last century, the Marxist slogan “Get the Rich” frequently became “Get the Jews” regardless of wealth. Since these protests are organized by Marxists, the coincidence is troubling. The American Nazi Party (ANP), which the left usually accuses of taking positions on the right, is supporting the protests. The ANP issued a statement declaring its intent to join in attacking the “Judeo-Capitalists” who “hold all the wealth and power in this country.” When neo-Nazis showed up at the Occupy Phoenix protest, the left tried to spin their presence as “counterprotesters,” endlessly retweeting a message on Twitter that said it was a good thing the neo-Nazis were on the other side. But the neo-Nazi organizers posted on their websites that they attended the Phoenix rally for the purpose of protecting the right of the activists to protest, and mingled with them in a friendly fashion. The protesters are so eager to present a certain image to the public they will repeatedly post false information rather than allow the truth to come out.
Comparisons to the Tea Party about the supposed leaderless nature of the protests are not accurate. There is a strong communist and socialist leadership directing the protests, that is carefully trying to create an impression of a grassroots movement that spontaneously arose. In reality, the left wing political party Working Families paid people up to $600/wk to show up and protest. One protester sent a message out over the #occupywallstreet Twitter channel asking if anyone knew of any “unstereotypical” protesters available for interviews. The Village Voice observed that most of the protesters are white, and do not represent working class minorities. Also unlike the Tea Parties, the protesters’ anger is primarily aimed at private corporations on Wall Street, not the government.
The protesters are less concerned about peaceful protest than the Tea Parties. They are organizing the protests with the assistance of the anarchist group Anonymous, the hacking group associated with Wikileaks. There has been an escalating level of violence, which some predict is going to get worse. The communists and socialists behind the protests want a radical political change in government, which according to Marxism may require a violent overthrow of the government. Hundreds have been arrested already within the first month of the protests. One protester defecated on a police car. Some of the signs displayed by protesters are so profane they cannot be repeated here. The choice of the term “occupy” is revealing, indicative of the activists’ intent to take protesting to a combative level. This is already taking place as many are arrested for refusing to leave when asked by the police.
The next project of the protesters is Occupy the Boardroom, which consists of soliciting messages to Wall Street executives and personally delivering them. The website suggests several ways to confront executives in person, including “pursuing them to the ends of the earth (like Michael Moore).” It is alarming to think how far the activists might go to achieve their ends. By using the kinds of tactics Jesse Jackson uses to shake down corporations, they may be able to frighten a few corporations into acceding to their demands. This would not fix the problem, however, it would only put a band-aid on the serious problems afflicting our economy.
Unfortunately, the protests may end up helping Obama, who is reportedly going to use them to triangulate, distancing himself from the protests and making himself appear to move to the center much like Bill Clinton did when he ran for reelection. But Obama should not be allowed to get away with this. Some of the biggest contributors to his campaign come from the executives and PACs of big banks on Wall Street. Goldman Sachs’ executives or PACs were the second biggest contributor to Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, followed by JP Morgan Chase & Co in sixth place, Citigroup, Inc. in seventh place, UBS AG in 15th place, and Morgan Stanley in 19th place.
The only thing the protesters seem to get right is that bailing out Wall Street was a bad idea. However, it was their Democrat politicians who were primarily responsible for the bailouts. The Democratic-controlled Congress voted for the bailouts, and Obama appointee Treasury Secretary Geithner and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke pushed for them. Geithner, the architect of TARP, was chair of the New York Federal Reserve Bank when he advocated for the bailouts.
The protesters should be directing their anger at Congress and President Obama, who are responsible for the bailouts and have the power to change the laws and reverse the situation. Protesting Wall Street only accentuates how ignorant they are.