The "King and Queen" of Occupy Wall St, Portland. Image credit: Kateoplis
"There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear, but we may, at long last, be seeing the rise of a popular movement that, unlike the Tea Party, is angry at the right people." - Paul Krugman in his NY Times opinion column today.
Despite the mass media outlets (newspapers, TV, and here's looking at you NPR..) initial disdain and outright lack of coverage for the populist movement known as Occupy Wall Street, the movement is emerging as a force to be reckoned with.
More than 1000 cities now have their own version, a local chapter as it were, of Occupy Wall Street. Portland pulled off a march that garnered the support of thousands and by all accounts remained peaceful.
There is a precedence for this - the Tea Party (who I don't actually agree with,) a rag tag community of people without an initial clear mandate, who have managed to remain a significant force in politics. Their success points to the way forward for Occupy Wall St's leaders. If the gatherings remain organized, peaceful, steadfast and determined they will continue to expose the two-tiered economic system of the USA - the super-rich and the rest of us - and the very presence of these determined young people camping out in the economic centres of the country, asking for a piece of the pie that they, and we, have helped to bake, will serve as a constant reminder of the inequality of the current system. They will be hard to ignore.
Will the White House pay attention? As Paul Krugman says:
"But Democrats are being given what amounts to a second chance. The Obama administration squandered a lot of potential good will early on by adopting banker-friendly policies that failed to deliver economic recovery even as bankers repaid the favor by turning on the president. Now, however, Mr. Obama’s party has a chance for a do-over. All it has to do is take these protests as seriously as they deserve to be taken.
And if the protests goad some politicians into doing what they should have been doing all along, Occupy Wall Street will have been a smashing success."
Occupy Wall St news links.
The Atlantic on Occupy Wall St.