If you listen to the narrative coming from the right, you would think the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters were social deviants. Sean Hannity said on his show last week, “What have we seen here, violence, rape, arson, destruction of property, sex in public, masturbation in public, naked people, drugs, drug paraphernalia, anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, anti-capitalism.”
I am sure that this stuff happened in the dozens of cities around the country where protests were held, but these are isolated incidents. The front page of the USA Today, last week, said the protests around the country were “largely peaceful legal marches.”
Jesse LaGreca, an unofficial spokesman for the movement, said last week, “What we are doing is engaging in civil disobedience in non-violent manner throughout the country.”
LaGreca says the bigger issues are things like “crimes that took place on Wall Street” and “corporations bribing our politicians with campaign funding.”
No big Wall Street bankers have been jailed for causing the biggest financial meltdown in history (in 2008), and I think everyone can agree both parties are bought and paid for.
What the Republicans are trying to do to the OWS protesters is the same thing the Democrats are still trying to do to the Tea Party — make OWS look crazy and unworthy of respect. Nothing could be further from the truth.
OWS is all about the First Amendment at its core. People have the Constitutional right to petition government for redress of grievances. Anyone who supports the Constitution should support the rights of the Tea Party and OWS protesters. The Tea Party and OWS did the exact same thing, and I think the Republicans are making a big mistake for bringing out the attack dogs. When you think of it, the Tea Party and OWS are really only separated by a few degrees.
Yes, I know the Communist Party, Nazi Party and the unions are latching on to OWS, but their issues are not what OWS is about. Republicans should realize this is turning into one of the best issues the Democrats could have ever dreamed up. Democrats are pouncing on OWS and hijacking it for their own political gain.
Suddenly, OWS has a clear message. Left-wing activist Van Jones summed it up on MSNBC, last week, when he said, “. . .this is not a movement that hates rich people just for being rich. If it were that kind of movement we`d call it Occupy Silicon Valley. No. It`s not about hating the economic winners. It’s about hating the economic cheaters. We’re tired of the cheaters. We’re tired of people rigging the game so that they can get ahead and the rest of us can’t get anywhere.” (Click here to see and read the entire interview.)
Wall Street did cheat and bribe politicians of both parties to weaken the laws that protected the public.
Meanwhile, the regulators continue to turn a blind eye to the rip-offs that are still going on. MF Global and more than $600 million in lost “segregated funds” of clients is just the latest debauchery.