Occupy Wall Street Hitting Critical Mass on Columbus Day... And Can Only Get Bigger

It's Columbus Day, which means many Americans, including students, have the day off—which means Occupy Wall Street is expecting a swell of numbers today. And after Paul Krugman's awesome column in the Times yesterday, a must read, it's not inconceivable that the crowds will contain a reader or two who wasn't planning on heading to the protest before reading it. 

Many noted over the weekend that the tide was turning for OWS, at least in the mainstream media... that publications which refused to acknowledge the movement at its start were now publishing several stories a day about it, and positive ones at that. Here's a good example: CBS, that bastion of middle-of-the-roadness, has published an article on its website entitled "Occupy Wall Street's Drumbeat Grows Louder":

From the streets of New York ... to the nation's capital ... to the South (Mobile, Ala., Jacksonville, Fla.) and West (Portland, Ore.), Americans are frustrated and making their voices heard.

"Wealthy individuals who own giant corporations have bought off our Congress and bought off our government and, you know, the people no longer have a voice anymore," one protester told CBS News.

The marchers come from all walks of life - young and old, male and female, hoping their lawmakers are listening.

"I think the message is obvious," said Jesse Lagreca, 38. "The wealthiest one percent is taking advantage of working class people. They've been selling us faulty financial products, they've been taking huge bonuses while depending on society to bail them out."

The piece also quotes Russ Feingold copiously, and had him as a guest on "The Early Show." 

Nancy Pelosi has been one of OWS' biggest supporters in office, and yesterday she told "This Week" that she was fully throwing her weightbehind the movement. “I support the message to the establishment, whether it’s Wall Street or the political establishment and the rest, that change has to happen,” she said. “We cannot continue in a way that is not relevant to their lives." She also slammed Eric Cantor for his comments on OWS, making the great point that he didn't seem to mind when the Tea Party was spitting on people in Washington. Cantor, of course, tried to backtrack on his disdain for OWS, but Americablog does a bang-up rebuttal to his rebuttal:

CANTOR SPOKESMAN Brad Dayspring responds: “People are angry and obviously have the protected right to express that. His point was that some politicians in Washington who are encouraging and applauding this are ‘pitting Americans against Americans.’ … [T]he basis of the Tea Party was redress of their elected government. The goal of these protesters remains unclear, other than a unity of protest in and of itself. … Leader Cantor merely said that he was growing concerned with the occupy protests -- and I would think that most Americans, whether they agree or not with any or all of the varied causes evident there, feel the same.”

The Tea Party was about redress? No it wasn't. It was formed and run by Newt Gingrich's deputy in the 1990s, Dick Armey, and is simply an assemblage of far-right Republicans intent on kicking Democrats out of office and dismantling government. That is, when they're not spitting on black members of Congress and calling them the n-word. Does anyone remember when the Teabaggers were shutting down congressional townhall meetings with angry cries of "socialism!"? That was okay, but protesting in the streets is not.

Boom. More links for today: Ben & Jerry's becomes OWS' first corporate backer...  Al Sharpton is broadcasting live from OWS today... Religion writers ponder the spirituality of OWS.


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at October 10, 2011, 4:44am

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