Occupy Wall Street: Not All as Crazy as You Think
This past Thursday, an associate and I visited Zuccotti Park for the purpose of interacting with the protesters from OWS. We spent over fourteen hours there, arriving at 9 at night and staying until 11 Friday morning. This was a surprisingly worthwhile exercise, as we were able to speak with many different people. Some even sought us out to tell us their message. Having taken the time to listen to the protesters, I've arrived at what I believe is a unique take on OWS.
Many of these protesters are incoherent, and many of them are radical socialists, but a very large number are reasonable and well-spoken. These protesters are upset with the very same things as those of us in the Tea Party are, and they do not see the Tea Party as the enemy; in fact, many of the protesters claimed to support Tea Party efforts, saying that all they want is for the government to leave them alone and to abide by the Constitution as it was written. That should sound familiar to any member of the Tea Party.
You will note that the protesters decry the influence of "the banks" and "Wall Street." We asked many of them whether they thought the Federal Reserve Bank was in any way responsible for the financial crisis. Most of them allowed that "them too" were probably also guilty, but a large number do not even know what the Federal Reserve is -- or, at least, they are unaware that the Fed is not "federal" in any sense of the word, but is a private corporation unconstitutionally created to control the money supply. They were ignorant of the true nature of the Fed even though they were quite knowledgeable and coherent on other issues.
The important point is that while this movement may have a hard core of radicals, the majority is not fully controlled by this element. This majority knows that something is wrong with our country, but not what. The Democratic Party, mainstream media, Soros-affiliated radicals, and various unions are manipulating them. National press coverage has focused on the anti-Wall Street theme and support of the usual litany of socialist demands -- free this, free that, and of course, "tax the rich." Yet the media broadcast only selected interviews that fit their template. While MSNBC and CNN may promote the "tax the rich" scenario, FOX seems to promote the "filthy hippie" narrative. None of them is showing the several Gadsden flags carried by some of the protesters. The picture accompanying this article clearly shows that not all the OWS people are wild-eyed radicals dressed for revolution; most of these people would not look out of place at a Tea Party event.
Several protesters said they do not want to associate with the Democratic Party and booed Charlie Rangel when he tried to share the stage with them. They say they do not want to be co-opted "like the Tea Party was co-opted by the Republicans" -- a statement one is hard pressed to refute. Many openly support Ron Paul.
It seems that the unions, the Soros affiliates, and various anarchists are controlling this movement and will steer it as they see fit. It also seemed that most of the sociology professors in the greater New York area were at Zuccotti Park, milling about, lecturing the kids, along with a large number of ex-hippies sprinkled throughout the crowd spouting warmed-over '60s slogans and various forms of Marxist-speak. Radical these kids may be, but they can be influenced. Remember that during the Vietnam War, protests leaders of the SDS and the free-speech movement often infiltrated the crowds and incited the protesters into going beyond war protest and into more aggressive positions and tactics, usually involving violence and revolution.
This tactic is right out of the Saul Alinsky-Bill Ayers playbook. It worked before, and it can work again -- unless Tea Party members and libertarians check those efforts. Since we who may be inclined towards involvement understand the Rules for Radicals playbook, we can execute a counter-offensive.
The vanguard of the OWS movement is in lower Manhattan. Their pre-eminence among all OWS groups presents an important strategic opportunity. Tea Party and libertarian activists from the metropolitan area should visit the site and interact with the protesters -- not just in Manhattan, but wherever the OWS movement exists. There is here a real opportunity to counter the left and influence the thinking of some of the protesters through dialogue and peaceful means with those members of OWS with whom civil conversations are possible. There are many more such people there than one would think. If the reader is convinced that the protesters are all crazed, unsavory types, then I ask: where did you get your information? Have you been there yet and spoken with the protesters? I suspect not. If you haven't been there, then I suggest that you probably got your perception of these people from the MSM. Are you going to let them influence your thinking?
It is in the interests of the manipulators to split the U.S. population into competing groups along a mostly phony left-right axis and steer it into voting for their candidates -- almost none of whom offers real change. If the electorate is kept off-balance fighting each other, then it won't be fighting the real threats to freedom in this country -- the Federal Reserve, the NWO, Agenda 21, and the United Nations. If the political establishment that runs this country is terrified of anything, it is the possibility of an alliance between Tea Party types and OWS.
It must start with individual visits to Zuccotti Park.
The OWS movement offers the opportunity of a propaganda coup for the progressive establishment, and the progressives want to co-opt OWS to their advantage. The narrative will continue to be that the protesters are the "anti-Tea Party" and have tapped into "what's really wrong with this country" and, since they are calling for free health care and taxing the rich, then "the kids are all right." This theme has definite advantages for the current regime, yet forceful eviction of the OWS protesters could backfire against the current power brokers.
The Tea Party cannot sit back and do nothing while this happens. I urge activists to visit Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. Come face to face with the protesters, singly or in small groups. Tea Partiers will be surprised at how effective they can be and glad to have gone.
This link will direct the reader to several videos on YouTube that feature the OWS protesters who were interviewed for this article.
Dan Haggerty is an architect, political activist, and Vietnam-era veteran living in Randolph, New Jersey. He can be reached at Danielhaia@aol.com.