Launched a month ago in Lower Manhattan, the “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) movement has since spread to more than 140 cities nationwide while winning the hearts of leftists everywhere, most significantly in the Democratic Party’s mainstream. By now, many Americans have seen some of the photos and film footage of OWS demonstrators spewing anti-Semitic diatribes; shutting down traffic in busy urban areas; engaging in public nudity, copulation, defecation, and illegal drug use; and defacing their environs with colossal mounds of trash that are utterly incongruous with the protesters’ professed concern for responsible environmental stewardship. But beyond their penchant for the bizarre and the odious, what exactly animates the OWSers in New York, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between?
While they have been widely described as a motley crew without a unifying agenda, the OWSers are in fact bound together by a strongly anti-capitalist worldview that characterizes America as a “ruthless,” materialistic society where the chief objective is to “always minimize costs and maximize profits”; where “lives are commodities to be bought and sold on the open market”; and where “the economic transaction has become the dominant way of relating to the culture and artifacts of human civilization.” The “deep spiritual sickness” that necessarily results from this repugnant philosophy of perpetual economic “growth for the sake of growth,” says OWS, has caused “vast deprivation, oppression and despoliation … to cover the world.” OWS’s prescribed remedy is to replace the foregoing arrangement “with a society of cooperation and community” – i.e., a socialist economy. Thus it is not at all surprising that the Communist Party USA, the International Socialist Organization, the Peace and Freedom Party, and the Democratic Socialists of America have all embraced OWS and its objectives.
OWSers, casting themselves as the victimized “99%” of the population who “will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the [wealthiest] 1%,” advocate the imposition of a “Robin Hood Tax” on most goods and services, with the aim of using its generated revenues (taken mostly from “the rich”) to fund social-welfare programs for “the poor.” Among those joining the “one-percenters” in denouncing America’s purportedly contemptible “millionaires and billionaires” are filmmaker Michael Moore, actress Susan Sarandon, actor Alec Baldwin, film star Jane Fonda, activist Yoko Ono, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, Marxist professor Cornel West, New York councilman Charles Barron, socialist radical Frances Fox Piven, TV personality Keith Olbermann, congressman John Lewis, congressman Charles Rangel, financier George Soros, labor leader Richard Trumka, former U.S. senator Russ Feingold, entertainer Roseanne Barr, left-wing preacher Jim Wallis, congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee director Robby Mook, and revolutionary communist Van Jones. Notably, most of these self-proclaimed champions-of-the-oppressed are themselves millionaires and billionaires. And yet another very wealthy man – President Obama – has likewise praised the OWS protesters for “giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.”
As Matthew Vadum has pointed out, front groups of the community organization ACORN have played a major role in organizing the OWS demonstrations from coast to coast. For instance, the Working Families Party (WFP), a longtime ACORN front, has helped mobilize the protests in New York City. “[We are] actually trying to change the capitalist system we have today because it’s not working for any of us,” WFP organizer Nelini Stamp told Laura Flanders in an interview on Free Speech TV. Meanwhile, ACORN’s more recently established front groups have similarly been involved in launching the OWS movement in places like Pittsburgh, Orlando, Los Angeles, and Boston. Indeed ACORN’s fingerprints have been all over OWS for some time now. According to journalist Aaron Klein, the current protests apparently represent “the culmination” of a campaign by ACORN founder Wade Rathke, who seven months ago issued a call for “days of rage in ten cities around JP Morgan Chase” – all part of his so-called “anti-banking jihad.”
For a comprehensive overview of OWS, visit the “Occupy Wall Street” section of DiscoverTheNetworks.org, which spells out not only OWS’s agendas, but also its relationship to a number of other influential radical groups that have helped create and sustain the current protest movement. To view this section of DiscoverTheNetworks, click here.