Occupy Wall Street: A Tea Party for The Other 99% of Us?

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Occupy Wall Street: A Tea Party for The Other 99% of Us?

Last week I posted a video showing some peaceful young women protesters getting maced in the face by NYC police during what was then a little-known protest movement called Occupy Wall Street. Now, one week later, the whole lefty political world here in the US-of-A seems on the brink of a major zeitgeist moment. Comparisons have already been made between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party in Time's political blog and The Washington Post.


In the last three days, I've gotten mass-emails from Democracy for America, MoveOn, The Working Families Party, Citizen Action of New York, and about a dozen other like-minded lefty grassroots groups, all asking me to come to tomorrow's March on Wall Street. Everywhere you look, it seems, people are talking and blogging about it; on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook and YouTube, and everywhere else you can find unregulated public discourse. Once place you won't find Occupy Wall Street is at their own homepage; because they don't have one. Like the Tea Party, there is no one person or organizational hub at the helm of this ship. Yet somehow, we organize ourselves, and shit starts to happen.



I know it's slightly uncomfortable making comparisons between us and them-- we like to think that we have nothing in common with our enemies, that they are completely alien to us and everything we hold dear-- but they did a good job organizing themselves, didn't they? And now, as reports continue to stream in about the 700 who were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, the continued rolling occupation that has now evolved to sophisticated political guerilla street theater (hey, if you can't laugh at a zombie parody then you are officially dead inside, my friend), and the building wave of energy that's rallying all able-bodied peeps to the cause for tomorrow's march, it seems we might finally be catching up to the teabaggers in the arena of sheer, rabble-rousin' agitation. And as much as I'd like to avoid an eyeful of pepper spray, I can't help feeling the excitement of sheer possibility being raised in this moment of collective action, grabbing onto that pure, beautiful promise of access and equality that social media offers to those who aren't afraid to use it. 



And, I kind of love the idea that, if we do end up inaugurating President Rick Perry in 2012, he'll have to put up with a bunch of outraged Wall Street Occupiers in Congress who will hold his agenda hostage at every turn. How do ya like them apples, Wall Street? Will you be joining the throngs at tomorrow's rally? Is this movement reaching y'all outside NYC? How are you showing your support? 


Comments [12]

Ashley Pell's picture

Occupy Wall Street

The people protesting on Wall Street are just the top of a bubbling caldron of distress and unhappiness about our financial and political system. I am sorry to see some of them maced and hundreds of them and arrested but unless there are arrests the media pays no attention. We are now seeing media attention and protests popping up all around the country. Way to go! It is a shame you have to get arrested for the rest of the country to pay attention but that is how our system works. It is definitely past time to rattle the establishment’s cage. 

I remember being involved in the civil rights and Viet Nam protest movements of the sixties. I’m going to be on the streets this time too and probably go to jail again. I hope you will join me.

Grace Moon's picture


Lez go get arrested!

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Grace Moon's picture

I'm going to

I'm going to #OccupyWallStreet today. Pray I don't get mass arrested, cuz I walked out of my house this morn w/out my phone!


tweet tweet @gracemoon

peacekitty's picture

I wish I could be there now! 

I wish I could be there now!  We're coming next weekend.  That video of the girls getting maced is crazy and that "white shirt" should be held accountable.

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Conlite's picture

Hope things go well for you

Hope things go well for you all!

Marcie Bianco's picture

don't you dare get

don't you dare get arrested....

Grace Moon's picture


if I end up in the slammer will you come find me and bail me out?

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Marcie Bianco's picture

yes, you know i will....and

yes, you know i will....and i'll probs crack a few skulls in the process of doing so.

Robin Rigby's picture

Is that female cop looking at

Is that female cop looking at that chick's boobs? Sorry, so not on topic. Smile

I read somewhere that there are similar protests happening in other cities. I haven't seen anything or heard of anything here. Instead we have people bitching about the CHP shutting down the freeways to investigate some lunatic who was shooting at cars. Really, people?

Marcie Bianco's picture

Re Tea Party as an org

Interesting to think about the parallels...is there really no central organizing body of the Tea Party? It just seems like an entirely different beast! ....fyi, from Wiki (so, take it or leave it):

501(c)(4) Non-Profit Organizations:

For-Profit Businesses:

Jenny Aisenberg's picture

well yes...

I think you misunderstood my point-- which means I probably didn't say it clearly enough! yes, these organizations are all part of the tea party; but no one of them is or owns the movement. they all have to work together in a grassroots-organized fashion to create and sustain their movement, just like all the orgs I listed above are working together to bring people in to the march on wall street tomorrow, without claiming ownership of the event. they're both populist movements. that was my point-- no one organization is in charge. make sense now?

"We're all born naked. The rest is drag."
--RuPaul (appropriating Judith Butler for the masses...)

Marcie Bianco's picture

totally makes sense! part of

totally makes sense! part of my confusion, i must confess, is due to the fact that i know abs. nothing about the tea party or the 99-hipster-percent. ...although, your two pieces have helped me gather a better idea of the latter, for sure.