Rachel Hahn Mr. Taylor AP English Literature 12/15/11 Looking Back on 51 Years of Protest: How Occupy Wall Street Can Succeed, T Hayden, CTP McCarthy, J McMillan
Wall Street, Tea Party, Tea Party Patriots, protesters, New York, Gary Dumm, Students For A Democratic Society, Graphic History, protest, Mark Rudd, Chase National Bank, Matt Kibbe, Paul Buhle, Matt Taibbi, American values, Bank of America, traditional members, governmental change, apartheid government of South Africa, John McMillan, President Obama, President Barack Obama, Berkeley, horizontal structure, David Plouffe, Colin Moynihan, Tom Hayden, Web, The New York Times
1 Rachel Hahn Mr. Taylor AP English Literature 12/15/11 Looking Back on 51 Years of Protest: How Occupy Wall Street Can Succeed The Port Huron Statement, the major political document of the 1960's political movement
which was later known as the New Left, eloquently begins with the line, "We are the people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit."1 Forty-two years later, the closing words of the Canadian magazine Adbuster's blog post
called for people to, "Post a comment and help each other zero in on what our demand will be. And then let's screw up our courage, pack our tents and head to Wall Street with a vengeance September 17."2 The Port Huron Statement's articulate, thoughtful writing has been replaced with the use of hashtags, as Adbusters entitled its call to arms #OCCUPYWALLSTREET. This proposition challenged thousands of American citizens to flood into lower Manhattan on September 17th to voice their disapproval of the major banks on Wall Street's corrupt actions and the influence that these corrupt businesses have on politics. This plea was not only dramatic, but it also seemed overly idealistic. Many Americans may have been dissatisfied with Wall Street and their personal financial situations, but could anyone seriously expect 20,000 Americans to flood Manhattan on this Saturday in September? 1 Hayden, Tom. The Port Huron Statement. Protest Nation. Comp. Timothy Patrick McCarthy and John McMillan. New York: The New Press, 2010. 60-70. Print. 2 "#OCCUPYWALLSTREET." Adbusters Blog. Adbusters, 13 July 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. .
2 Although Adbusters' numbers may have been off, their idealistic vision came to life. On November 15th, after almost four full months of protesting, the New York Police Deparment cleared Zuccotti Park, the campground of the protests held in Manhattan's Financial District.3 The nucleus of the Occupy Wall Street movement was dead. The encampment at Zuccotti Park was symbolic of the movement as a whole, and with this site dormant, the entire future of the movement was unclear. The skepticism of the movement's direction continued during the following few weeks, as encampments in Los Angeles and Philadelphia were cleared as well. Many media correspondents are now speculating the future of the movement; it is clear that the movement has acquired enough momentum and attention to become a significant force in the current contentious political landscape. The only true way to evaluate the effectiveness and future of the Occupy Wall Street movement is to analyze and connect it to patterns found in past social movements that had similar structures, ideals, tactics, and media response. In order for Occupy Wall Street to cause actual change in our society and have a possible impact on national economics and politics, it is necessary for the group to learn from these past protests; the Occupiers must emulate what worked well and eliminate what factors inhibited these movements. There are multitudes of protests from the past that could be compared to Occupy Wall Street, but the student movements of the 1960's truly capture the idealistic essence of the movement while acting as a cautionary tale of the effectiveness of protests in general. The two major groups that arose from the turbulent society of the sixties were the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and Students for a democratic society, or SDS. In SDS' seminal document, The Port 3Barron, James, and Colin Moynihan. "City Reopens Park After Protesters Are Evicted." New York Times. N.p., 15 Nov. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.
3 Huron Statement, author Tom Hayden describes this period as an, "...outbreak of revolution against colonialism and imperialism, the entrenchment of totalitarian states, the menace of war, overpopulation, international disorder, [and] supertechnology..."4 Young revolutionaries like Tom Hayden felt personally responsible for these injustices that they saw in society, and they brought it upon themselves to act against what they viewed as a corrupt political and social system. This group of young intellectuals became known as the New Left. They crusaded against the emptiness of modern life, the absence of equality in American society, and what they viewed as an unjustified war. 5 The Berkeley Free Speech Movement was the beginning of the New Left and was the first example of a group of students going against society's larger institutions, which would soon become commonplace as young people throughout the nation became, "...imbued with a sense of urgency."6 Mario Savio, who is widely regarded as the charismatic voice of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, once compared Berkeley to a machine and proclaimed: There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even tacitly take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop.7 Savio inspired countless students to sacrifice themselves for the destruction of this machine, as students at the University of California Berkeley began to take direct political action to protest the University's ban on political activity. Margot Adler, a participant in the movement, describes the school's, "...huge lecture classes with eight hundred students...inadequate 4 Hayden. 62. 5 Cantor, Norman F. The Age of Protest: Dissent and Rebellion in the Twentieth Century. New York : Hawthorn Books, 1969. Print. 278-281. 6 Hayden. 62. 7 Cohen, Robert, and Reginald E. Zelnik, eds. The Free Speech Movement Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s.Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Print. 119.
4 counseling...[and] the invisibility of each person among a student body of almost thirty thousand" as the first indication of discord between the University and its students. 8 According to Adler, political activity on campus was rampant as students demanded on campus free speech; this demand then morphed into a full-frontal attack on the University itself, as it was a "knowledge factory" and not an institution devoted to creating liberal, open-minded, and curious members of society. 9 On December 2, 1964, students organized a nonviolent sit-in in Sproul Hall, the university's administration building. Adler describes the sit-in and her subsequent arrest as, "...an ecstasy of community bonding and collective power followed by a sense of total powerlessness."10 She describes the many brutalities that were committed against the students by the cops, as the Oakland police force dragged students down stairs and subsequently clubbed them.11This event created an uproar on campus, as students and faculty were shocked and called for the employment of free-speech rules. The events that transpired at Berkeley were clearly influential, as 221 major demonstrations took place on 101 college campuses between January and June of 1968. 12 Pennsylvania governor William Scranton, in the Report of the President's Commission on Campus Unrest issued in 1970, referred to Berkeley as a, "...complex mixture of issues, tactics, emotions, and setting that became the prototype for student protest throughout the decade."13 If Berkeley was the prototype, then the fully realized vision of student protest came with Students for a Democratic Society. 8 Cohen, Robert, and Reginald E. Zelnik, eds. The Free Speech Movement Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s.Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Print.112. 9 Cohen and Zelnik. 115. 10 Cohen and Zelnik. 123. 11 Cohen and Zelnik. 121-123. 12 Cantor. 290-291. 13 Cohen and Zelnik. 2.
5 Tom Hayden "...began to see complicated and disturbing paradoxes in...America."14Hayden and a few other like-minded activists outwardly took action against the inconsistencies of American values by creating Students for a Democratic Society in 1960. Hayden thought that American society had become too apathetic about the country's current situation and believed that, "The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present, and a commitment to social experimentation with them, is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise..."15 SDS searched for these democratic alternatives by organizing various demonstrations, conventions, and marches. On March 19, 1965, SDS held a demonstration in downtown Manhattan against the Chase National Bank due to its business dealings with the apartheid government of South Africa. On April 17, 1965, 25,000 people gathered at the White House to voice their disapproval of the Vietnam War, and this is still the largest antiwar protest to date. 16 SDS members even challenged universities and colleges, as in 1967 about 60% of large universities were hit by protests, many involving impassioned clashes between the police and students. 17 Around 1967, SDS members realized that sit-ins and marches were no longer effective in getting across their message. They had held many rallies and marches and no real governmental change followed. While some members took this as a sign that violence was the answer, others began directly attacking the military system through draft resistance. The Resistance was an idealistic endeavor, but it was also practical. It combined the SDS members' insistence on morality in society with a strategy that would ensure an impact on politics. On October 16, 1967, over 1,000 draft-eligible men in almost thirty cities turned in their cards. On April 5, 1668, about a thousand more cards were returned. People all over the nation refused 14 Hayden, 61. 15 Hayden, 63. 16 Pekar, Harvey. Students For A Democratic Society: A Graphic History. Illus. Gary Dumm. Ed. Paul Buhle. New York: Hill and Wang, 2008. Print. 3-52. 17 Pekar, 3-52.
6 induction. These men were taking huge risks, as the penalty for resisting the draft was three months to three years of imprisonment. By the fall of 1968, at least 1,000 men were serving sentences due to their resistance. 18 SDS was not wholly successful, however, as proved by the group's violent disintegration. Mark Rudd, elected leader of the Columbia chapter of SDS, hinted at a darker side to SDS in his letter to the dean of the University, as he stated, "I have extreme respect for the law; I am by no means an anarchist. Yet I respect the law less than I respect morality; I will have to break the law if upholding it means the continuation of brutality." 19 Some SDS factions shared Rudd's attitude and pursued violence as an avenue for change; from January to May of 1968 there were ten bombings and burnings of university buildings. This was the first time students used such violent tactics. SDS inevitably dissolved in 1969 because of clashes between new, more radical members and the older, more traditional members. The true meaning of the movement became distorted and led to the creation of violent radical groups, like the Weathermen, who crusaded against the government itself. In October of 1969 the Weathermen organized what they called Days of Rage in Chicago, where they rampaged down the streets, broke store and car windows, and ultimately clashed with the police. This type of violence clearly goes against the values of peace and equality that defined SDS in its infancy. 20 This is the type of path that Occupy Wall Street must avoid, as it would undermine the movement's many successes. As a movement, Occupy Wall Street has spread to 900 cities worldwide and has received more than $500,000 in donations, an impressive feat for a leaderless and purposefully vague 18 Cantor. 284-286. 19 Rudd, Mark. My Life With SDS and The Weather Underground. New York: Harper Collins, 2009. Print. 26. 20 Pekar, Harvey. Students For A Democratic Society: A Graphic History. Illus. Gary Dumm. Ed. Paul Buhle. New York: Hill and Wang, 2008. Print. 3-52.
7 movement. 21,22 Although Occupy Wall Street is difficult to define due to its lack of concrete demands, it is a movement that ultimately wants to call attention to the Income Inequality of American citizens while denouncing the major banks, such as Goldman-Sachs, Citibank, and Bank of America, as their actions have contributed to this country's economic divide. Occupy Wall Street protesters may not have any practical solutions to the specific problems they call attention to, whether they be the absurdly high cost of college tuition or the financial fiasco caused by the 2008 market crash, but they bring public attention to these important issues. The movement is about people uniting to voice their disapproval of the corrupt few that hold the majority of the wealth in this country. In order to begin to understand the Occupy movement, it is necessary to understand the context behind the issues that they are demonstrating against. Tea Party author Matt Kibbe believes that the protesters are "...unified only by their shared hatred of the wealthy...", but this is an oversimplification of the issue. 23 Although the protesters certainly have a right to be upset, as the top one percent of earners has been the only percentage of people in the country whose income has increased substantially over the past thirty years24 (see Table 1), they do not necessarily hate these wealthy citizens themselves. The Occupiers are disappointed with the political system that has created this divide in wealth and only those citizens who took part in furthering it. The top one percent of households has more wealth than the bottom ninety five percent combined, and the divide in after-tax income between the richest one percent and the middle and poorest fifths of the country has more than tripled 21 Heilemann, John. "2012=1968?" New York. N.p., 27 Nov. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. 22 Buckley, Cara, and Colin Moynihan. "Occupy Wall Street Protest Reaches a Crossroads." New York Times. N.p., 4 Nov. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. 23 Kibbe, Matt. "Occupy Wall Street Is Certainly No Tea Party." Forbes. N.p., 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . 24 The Economist online. "The 99 Percent." The Economist. N.p., 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. .
8 between 1979 and 2007.25 Cornel West, a Princeton professor who is actively involved in the Occupy movement, summarizes the movement's impact on the national economics by declaring that, "There's already been a victory. Everyone is talking about corporate greed and income inequality, and that wouldn't have been imaginable even a year ago."26 Although rising economic inequality has been an issue for decades, the true catalyst for this movement was the financial crisis of 2008. In analyzing the reasons for the crisis, it becomes clear that investors and Wall Street companies took advantage of American homeowners in order to make a profit. For the purposes of this paper, Wall Street will refer to the major banks that were involved in the 2008 crisis, such as Citibank and Goldman-Sachs. In 2000, all of the world's savings accumulated to 36 trillion dollars, but by 2008 the global pool of money contained 70 trillion dollars. Wall Street cunningly figured out how to further increase this global pool of money by creating mortgages without hassles or risks. No income, no asset loans came into existence, and these allowed people to take out loans without the bank first checking to see if the person had any income or assets. 27 Matt Taibbi describes Wall Street's actions as, "...an international fraud scheme to disguise crappy American home loans as AAA- rated safe investments so that they could then be hawked to foreigners and insurance companies..."28 Greed took precedence over the lives of millions of Americans, and this is 25 Sherman, Arloc, and Chad Stone. "Income Gaps Between Very Rich and Everyone Else More Than Tripled In Last Three Decades, New Data Show." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. N.p., 25 June 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . 26 Stewart, James B. "An Uprising With Plenty of Potential." The New York Times. N.p., 18 Nov. 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. 27 "The Giant Pool of Money." This American Life. Public Radio International. WBEZ, n.p., 9 May 2008. Print. Transcript. 28 Taibbi, Matt. "Mortgage Bubble Blamed, Ludicrously, on the Government." RollingStone. N.p., 17 Nov. 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2012.
9 exactly the type of behavior that Occupy Wall Street is demonstrating against. The success of Wall Street has come at the cost of the American public. Occupy Wall Street has broken away from its humble blog beginnings and has become a huge movement in national politics. What started off as one protest in New York City has splintered off into numerous international demonstrations and a truly powerful connection of united individuals. In comparing Occupy Wall Street to SDS and Berkeley, it is apparent that the Occupy movement shares many of the values that made Berkeley such a highly-publicized and influential moment in history. Berkeley proved that students could actually stand up against powerful institutions and make a difference. According to CUNY sociologist Hйctor CorderoGuzmбn's survey of visitors to the movement's main website, occupywallst.org, 64.2% of Occupy Wall Street members are younger than 34 years of age and 92.1% are either in college or have obtained a degree.29 It is clear that most of these protesters are young people who believe that they have the power to create change in their society. Before Berkeley, many cynics may have thought this impossible, as such a large number of young people had never before successfully protested on a major scale, but it is now clear that it is entirely achievable. SDS also exhibited this type of empowerment, but it also connects to Occupy Wall Street in many other ways. SDS' focus on decentralization and participatory democracy is mirrored in the Occupy movement's insistence on a horizontal structure, where each member shares an equal part in the decision-making process. This an extremely significant factor in the group's success, as a vertical structure would make OWS susceptible to corruption from the top. This decentralized structure is what made SDS have such long-lasting power, as each chapter of the group was allowed freedom to focus on whatever it wanted to. Mark Rudd's Columbia chapter of SDS 29 Cassidy, John. "Occupy Wall Street: Who Are We?" The New Yorker. N.p., 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.
10 turned against its own dean in order to protest the building of a gymnasium in Harlem, as they viewed this as, "steal[ing] land from black people," while SDS chapters at other universities had their own separate issues to deal with. 30 Occupy is similar as its broad and overarching message can be used for numerous causes, whether they be the need for economic equality, corporate corruption, or the high rate of foreclosures affecting American citizens. Occupy's horizontal structure and broad message will allow the movement to have much flexibility in the future. The flexible structures of the Occupy movement and SDS prove that Occupy will be an enduring movement, just as SDS was for almost a decade. In order for Occupy Wall Street to continue to be successful, it will be necessary for its members to continue to hold on to its idealistic vision and not succumb to violence like Students for a Democratic society did. Both movements had a utopian vision for society, but over time SDS' main message deteriorated and was used for a violent agenda.31 In order for Occupy Wall Street to be taken seriously, it is necessary to hold on to its members' positivity. It has tapped into something universal in all of its members, a yearning for economic equality and for the everyman to be respected by the elite, and these intense feelings cannot be skewed and used for unjust actions. Occupy Wall Street's trajectory up to this point has proven that peaceful protesting can be just as successful at gaining a large number of supporters than violent protests, and it does not seem that Occupy Wall Street's vision will be corrupted anytime soon. Occupy Wall Street needs to continue to hold on to its optimistic vision for American society while pursuing more concrete actions for political gains. 30 Rudd. 64. 31 Harvey. 45-52.
11 The Occupy Wall Street movement is on the brink of causing real change, just as SDS did with The Resistance. In order for Occupy Wall Street to move past its protest stage, its members need to focus on an issue that they can truly influence. The protests in Zuccotti Park, Boston, Los Angeles, and many other places, although effective in drawing attention to the Occupiers' cause, did nothing to directly alter society or economics in general. Occupy Wall Street must take on a realistic goal and accomplish it, just as SDS did with the Vietnam War. It must accomplish something truly worthy of recognition instead of just relying on media attention to draw support to the movement. Occupy is starting to accomplish this with the recent action dedicated towards occupying homes that are being foreclosed upon. Dozens of Occupiers were arrested recently when they interrupted a foreclosure auction in a courtroom in New York City, and over 50 similar actions have taken place over the past month.32 This foreclosure initiative has gotten Occupy Wall Street a fair amount of media attention, as it has combined the moral backbone of the movement with a practical goal that can be accomplished. news coverage and media have been extremely significant factors in all movements. The media, in the case of Occupy Wall Street, has amplified its voice and allowed a positive agenda to be portrayed. The media's focus on the human rights side of the movement, in particular with the scrutiny of police actions, has allowed it to become the focus of the nation. This violence riled up many people who would otherwise be neutral to the movement, and even people who do not support Occupy's cause can still feel compassionate towards those who were wrongfully abused. However, it is important for the movement's true meaning and ideology to not to be overshadowed by this violence, as the recent protests against the Group of Twenty have proven. 32 Bloomgarden-Smoke, Kara. "Next up for 'occupy' activists? Foreclosure crisis." AlaskaDispatch. N.p., 29 Jan. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2012.
12 The Group of Twenty (G-20) was formed in 1999 by the Group of Seven countries; G-7 decided to broaden the discussion after the 1997 Asian financial crisis in order to stabilize the international economy. It is made up of finance ministers and central bank governors from the European Union and 19 other countries.33 According to G-20's website, it is an organization whose main goal is to, "...promote the financial stability of the world and to achieve a sustainable Economic Growth and development." 34 Most recently, there have been summits in Washington, London, Toronto, and Philadelphia to try to strengthen international economic affairs after the crisis of 2008.35 These summits have been met with much controversy, however, as thousands of people took to the streets in protest. In London, an astonishing 35,000 people marched against the summit in 2009, demanding action on poverty, climate change, and jobs.36 The media's main focus has not been on the reasoning behind these protesters, but rather on the violence perpetrated by the police. After the demonstrations in London, police were accused of violating the protesters' right to demonstrate when officers unexpectedly cleared out environmental protesters by forcefully using batons and dogs. Thousands of protesters were trapped in a police cordon, a tactic that is called kettling. 37 According to Nathalie Des Rosiers, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, kettling, "...is a violation of Section 9 of the Charter, which provides and guarantees the freedom from arbitrary detention."38At a subsequent summit in Toronto in 2010, 20,000 police officers were deployed in response to all the protesters; this huge police force employed tear gas and rubber or plastic 33 Kirton, John. "What Is the G20?" The G20. University of Toronto , 30 Nov. 1999. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. 34 "About G-20." G-20. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . 35 "About G-20." 36 "G20 demonstrators march in London." BBC. N.p., 28 Mar. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . 37 Laville, Sandra, and Duncan Campbell. "Baton charges and kettling: police's G20 crowd control tactics under fire." The Guardian. N.p., 2 Apr. 2009. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . 38 Poisson, Jayme, Jennifer Yang, and Brendan Kennedy. "Exclusive: Toronto police swear off G20 kettling tactic." thestar. N.p., 22 June 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2012.
13 bullets. While some protesters were burning police cars and causing mayhem, the vast majority behaved peacefully. The demonstrators were broadly questioning G-20's legitimacy, but some came out for more specific causes like human rights and the environment.39 Similarly, in Pittsburgh in 2009, police employed a sound cannon, which is a sonic weapon that has recently been used by the US military against Somali pirates and Iraqi rebels. The police were only trying to disperse a few hundred people, and they were highly criticized for resorting to such a tactic. 40 It is therefore clear that the media latched onto this notion of police brutality and that this became the focus of the G-20 protests. In order for Occupy Wall Street to become a commanding force, it will be necessary to avoid this type of media stigma, for fear that it could consume the movement. Although Occupy Wall Street has gained much attention from these types of conflicts, particularly with the pepper-spraying of students at the University of California Davis, Occupiers need to focus the national conversation on their values, ideals, and goals, rather than their scuffles with the law in order to gain success. It is important for Occupy Wall Street protesters to maintain a media presence, but their values must not become shrouded by human rights violations that are unrelated to their cause. Another movement that has gained a huge amount of media coverage is the Tea Party Patriots. The Tea Party Movement formed in 2009 due to the American people's reaction to the fiscally irresponsible actions of the government and the stimulus package. It has gained a mass following, as 18% of Americans identify as supporters.41 Their mission is, "...to restore 39 Austen, Ian. "Police in Toronto Criticized for Treatment of Protesters, Many Peaceful." The New York Times. N.p., 27 June 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . 40 Weaver, Matthew. "G20 protesters blasted by sonic cannon." The Guardian. N.p., 19 May 2009. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . 41 Montopoli, Brian. "Tea Party Supporters: Who They Are and What They Believe." CBS News. N.p., 14 Apr. 2010. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. .
14 America's founding principles of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets." 42 The Tea Party explicitly states that it does not support any political party or endorse candidates, but it has clearly influenced the Republican Party. Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections where four in 10 voters supported the movement.43 As of June 29th, 2011, there are 60 Republicans serving in the House of Representatives who are members of the Tea Party Caucus.44Although the Tea Party claims to be, "...100% grassroots, 100% of the time," this is not necessarily true. 45 The Tea Party has been supported through continual endorsements by the highly influential Fox News Channel46 and by some of the richest men in the country, most notably the third-richest Americans, David and Charles Koch.47 It is clear that although there are some major differences between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, both came about for similar reasons and both are gaining widespread popularity. It is important for Occupy Wall Street to focus on realistic goals, like Students for a Democratic Society did with their resistance campaign, but it should not entangle itself with politics like the Tea Party movement has. In Cordero-Guzmбn's survey, 70.3% of Occupiers regarded themselves as independent, while 27.3% identified as Democrats and 2.5% identified as Republicans.48This data captures the true message behind the movement, as it shows citizens uniting, regardless of their political differences, in order to benefit American society in general. This type of utopian attitude cannot 42 "About Tea Party Patriots." Tea Party Patriots. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. . 43 "Tea Party Movement." The New York Times. N.p., 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. . 44 Travis, Shannon. "Who is the Tea Party Caucus in the House?" CNN. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2011. 45 "About Tea Party Patriots." . 46 "After Relentlessly Promoting Tea Party Protests, Fox Attacks Wall Street Protesters." Media Matters For America. N.p., 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. . 47 Fenn, Peter. "Tea Party Funding Koch Brothers Emerge From Anonymity." U.S. News. N.p., 2 Jan. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. . 48 Cassidy, John. "Occupy Wall Street: Who Are We?"
15 be tainted by politics, as Occupy Wall Street would then be vulnerable to corruption and greed, two values that the protesters are clearly strongly opposed to. Occupy Wall Street's position outside of party lines is its greatest attribute, as it can attract people based on moral character instead of party preferences. Occupy Wall Street can go beyond party lines and try to create change that is universal, unlike the Tea Party's narrow, conservative focus. The current political climate is rife with opposition; it seems like every step of the way, Republicans are trying to block Democrats or vice versa. Although almost every politician claims he or she wants to reach beyond party lines, this almost never occurs. Occupy Wall Street needs to avoid endorsing political candidates like the Tea Party does in order to transcend party lines and reach the broadest audience possible. Occupy Wall Street needs to maintain its reputation as a movement solely devoted to the benefit of the American people. With the 2012 election rapidly approaching, Occupy Wall Street's role in politics has never been more debated. David Plouffe, President Barack Obama's campaign manager in 2008 and currently a senior adviser in the White House, said that Obama intended to make Occupy Wall Street, "one of the central elements of the campaign next year." 49 President Obama recently told ABC News that he understands the reasoning behind the protests and he seems to believe that if he supports the Occupiers, they will support him in return, but this may not be the case. In reality, many protesters are unsatisfied with Obama's first term. He ran on a platform devoted to change and hope, but these promised transformations of American society were never fully realized. Republicans, on the other hand, have denounced Occupy Wall Street. Congressman Eric Cantor called the demonstrations "mobs," while 2012 Republican Presidential candidate 49 Heilemann, John. "2012=1968?" nymag.com.
16 Newt Gingrich suggested that each protester should, "Go get a job right after you take a bath." 50 While it is difficult to speculate how much influence the movement will have, it is evident that the movement has been a national talking point for months and that both parties will need to formally address it, especially if the movement continues on the current track it is on. If the leaders of the movement continue making wise decisions on its direction, Occupy Wall Street could end up becoming a major national force in both politics and American society. As demonstrated by the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, Students for a Democratic Society, the G-20 protests, and the Tea Party Patriots, there are an immeasurable number of factors that contribute to a movement's level of success. Occupy Wall Street is in an exemplary position at the moment, as its members are in the process of figuring out exactly what its next move should be. According to SDS' ideology, Occupy Wall Street needs to be as bold as possible. The Port Huron statement ends with the phrase, "If we appear to seek the unattainable, as it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable."51 Forty-nine years after Tom Hayden wrote these words, protesters and concerned citizens around the globe are still chasing the unattainable and protecting the world from the unimaginable. 50 Heilemann, John. "2012=1968?" nymag.com. 51 Hayden. 70.
17 Appendix Figure 1:
18 Works Cited "About G-20." G-20. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . "About Tea Party Patriots." Tea Party Patriots. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. . "After Relentlessly Promoting Tea Party Protests, Fox Attacks Wall Street Protesters." Media Matters For America. N.p., 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. . Austen, Ian. "Police in Toronto Criticized for Treatment of Protesters, Many Peaceful." The New York Times. N.p., 27 June 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Barron, James, and Colin Moynihan. "City Reopens Park After Protesters Are Evicted." New York Times. N.p., 15 Nov. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Bloomgarden-Smoke, Kara. "Next up for `occupy' activists? Foreclosure crisis." AlaskaDispatch. N.p., 29 Jan. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. . Buckley, Cara, and Colin Moynihan. "Occupy Wall Street Protest Reaches a Crossroads." New York Times. N.p., 4 Nov. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Cantor, Norman F. The Age of Protest: Dissent and Rebellion in the Twentieth Century. New York : Hawthorn Books, 1969. Print. Cassidy, John. "Occupy Wall Street: Who Are We?" The New Yorker. N.p., 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Cohen, Robert, and Reginald E. Zelnik, eds. The Free Speech Movement Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Print. The Economist online. "The 99 Percent." The Economist. N.p., 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Fenn, Peter. "Tea Party Funding Koch Brothers Emerge From Anonymity." U.S. News. N.p., 2 Jan. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. . "G20 demonstrators march in London." BBC. N.p., 28 Mar. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. .
19 "The Giant Pool of Money." This American Life. Public Radio International. WBEZ, n.p., 9 May 2008. Print. Transcript. Hayden, Tom. The Port Huron Statement. Protest Nation. Comp. Timothy Patrick McCarthy and John McMillan. New York: The New Press, 2010. 60-70. Print. Heilemann, John. "2012=1968?" New York. N.p., 27 Nov. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Kibbe, Matt. "Occupy Wall Street Is Certainly No Tea Party." Forbes. N.p., 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Kirton, John. "What Is the G20?" The G20. University of Toronto , 30 Nov. 1999. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. . Laville, Sandra, and Duncan Campbell. "Baton charges and kettling: police's G20 crowd control tactics under fire." The Guardian. N.p., 2 Apr. 2009. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Montopoli, Brian. "Tea Party Supporters: Who They Are and What They Believe." CBS News. N.p., 14 Apr. 2010. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. . "#OCCUPYWALLSTREET." Adbusters Blog. Adbusters, 13 July 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Pekar, Harvey. Students For A Democratic Society: A Graphic History. Illus. Gary Dumm. Ed. Paul Buhle. New York: Hill and Wang, 2008. Print. Poisson, Jayme, Jennifer Yang, and Brendan Kennedy. "Exclusive: Toronto police swear off G20 kettling tactic." thestar. N.p., 22 June 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. . Rudd, Mark. My Life WIth SDS and The Weather Underground. New York: Harper Collins, 2009. Print. Sherman, Arloc, and Chad Stone. "Income Gaps Between Very Rich and Everyone Else More Than Tripled In Last Three Decades, New Data Show." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. N.p., 25 June 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. . Stewart, James B. "An Uprising With Plenty of Potential." The New York Times. N.p., 18 Nov. 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. .
20 Taibbi, Matt. "Mortgage Bubble Blamed, Ludicrously, on the Government." RollingStone. N.p., 17 Nov. 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. . "Tea Party Movement." The New York Times. N.p., 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. . Travis, Shannon. "Who is the Tea Party Caucus in the House?" CNN. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2011. . Weaver, Matthew. "G20 protesters blasted by sonic cannon." The Guardian. N.p., 19 May 2009. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. .
T Hayden, CTP McCarthy, J McMillan