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Monday, October 24, 2016

Special Report: Who On The Right Is Trying To Co-Opt Occupy Wall Street?

This post is by Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart, from

They have not cracked the Tea Party movement itself, but Occupy Wall Street in New York and its reiteration across the country have in short order broken the stranglehold that the Tea Parties have had on our national political discourse. In response, the leaders — but not necessarily the members — of the largest Tea Party factions have denounced the Occupy protests in direct, unambiguous, and characteristically overblown statements.

Tea Party Patriots chairman Mark Meckler, said, “We have nothing in common with them other than we are all American citizens,” according to The Daily Caller. Similarly, Tea Party Nation boss Judson Phillips opined that, “the goal of these people is ultimately a socialist revolution.” Eric Odom, one of the original instigators of the Tea Party movement who now has a perch at Patriot Action Network and its Liberty Network News, wrote that Occupy Wall Street is a “a front for a dastardly agenda plotted by radical globalists.”

But, despite complaints at the top, there are an increasing number of Tea Partiers who want to be friends with the Occupiers. Despite the appeal of a unified populist front, the new wave of protesters should beware — many of these offers have been coming from a dangerous mix of ideologues with a radical, right-wing vision of America’s future.

Consider FedUpUSA, which is based in Michigan and describes itself as a group of investors who helped start the Tea Parties and support institutions like the union-busting think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy. In Ohio, FedUpUSA announced its support for Occupy Cleveland and has called the media “partisanly-blinded” in its coverage. But this is also a group that has recently called Social Security “Enron-ish.”

Then there are the followers of Ron Paul, “a lot of [whom] … are spreading news about the Occupy Wall Street event,” according to Odom, who also notes that some activists thinks there is a lot of space for “common ground” between Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party protesters.

Over at Campaign for Liberty, the well-staffed national organization that Paul created out of his run in the 2008 Republican primaries, one blogger hoped that the protests would prove to be “a beneficial opportunity to spark debate regarding the fundamental economic issues of our time.”

At Ron Paul Forums, however, they took a poll, “Do you think the Tea Parties should support Occupy Wall Street?” The results: Yes — 57 percent, No — 43 percent. While the question was eventually modified to say something like “parallel demonstrations” or a “dialogue,” the answers reflected a desire by Tea Party Paul-ites to find new supporters for the Paul cause among the Occupiers.

What is the Ron Paul cause? Number one seems to be the elimination of the Federal Reserve in order to lock America’s currency to the gold standard.

Alex Jones, the Texas talk show host who is known as perhaps the most prominent right-leaning 9/11 Truther, is another end-the-Fed diehard trying to get his hand in the Occupiers nest. According to his website, Infowars, he noted: “Well-meaning protesters who have joined the Occupy Wall Street effort, including in solidarity activities in cities everywhere, need to be educated about the power held by this insidious institution.” What institution? Again, the Federal Reserve. This is the same Jones who has also said things like, “Mexicans want to destroy America” and “What are the Zionists so afraid of? Why do they wield so much power?”

As the Occupy Wall Street protests kick off a wave of support across the United States, even the right-wing fringe has recognized that it’s an important phenomenon. As the group tries to coalesce into a new movement, it’s worth remembering that elements of the far-right may at moments seem like new friends, but they often are really just old enemies with an agenda in hand.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • [email protected]

    The Tea Baggers are nothing more than racists and the OWL group should not be taken in by their “fed up” junk. OWL are inclusive, smart and commited. Leave the racists with the Republicans where they belong

  • aymontana


  • Indy 60

    Before OWS lets the T’s in, they should stop and remember what happened to the Republican Party. T’s came in, bullied and took-over, now they’re putting their own candidates up against mainstream Republicans (i.e.: In IN T Murdoch against long-time Republican Sen. Richard Lugar). They don’t just join, they come in and take over. OWS will die a slow death, just like the Republican Party is doing.

  • PattReid

    They (the TP) can’t succeed at that if they try. There is some overlap of mission, but not nearly enough. They are opposed to health care for all, they are opposed to SS and Medicare, they are anti-LGBT, anti-labor, anti-union, they ridicule education as ‘unnecessary’, they are ‘pro-‘ endless war. They are for RESTRICTING women’s rights, poor people’s votes, minority rights and immigrant access to citizenship.

    If they attempt to co-opt the movement, they will be ‘corrected’ in no uncertain terms. This movement is so successful and so scary to many that they all want to try to jump on board and co-opt it. If they try, they will fail. This group is not an uneducated, ignorant nor easily led group. They are unique, because they have done their OWN thinking for the last few years, not parroting the likes of Rush, Beck, Levin or Hannity.

    America is about to be in shock and awe: the sleeping giant has awakened.

  • 719joanne

    The Wall street demontrations has started throughtout the country and as a 60’s demontrator it can have lasting results. They are strong people that do have a cause and a reason just need to put it all together and get Congress to make change. Sentor’s or our House Representative need to do what your constituents elected you for, work for the people and start jobs in your own states. The President can’t go it alone he needs your help, so help your state and get it done. Our children need your help to keep America strong for the years to come.

  • LogicObserv123

    Let there be no mistake, there is a world of differences between OWS and the Tea Party, not the least of which is the Tea Party is funded almost entirely by the very people OWS is moving against, the very people who brought this country to its knees, and the Tea Partiers have completely embraced a fundamentalist religious and overtly racist (thought they deny it) agenda as well as a thoroughly stupid, unworkable, dangerous and ultimately self-harming Corporatist agenda.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that leaders will emerge from the ranks of OWS, and Progressive Democrats will defect to a brand new “Independent Pragmatic Progressive Reform” Party, which will be the antithesis of the soul-less, stupid, co-opted and thoroughly childish Tea Party. There are areas of common legislative interest for the more Libertarian-leaning elements of the Tea Party, which could form a temporary coalition on several issues (the Federal Reserve, Endless War-Mongering, and stupid Trade Policy to name three examples) to defeat the corrupted Dem/Repub Axis, which basically supports the Corporatist Agenda, which is truly the enemy of 99% of US citizens.

  • rumpunch

    Checking Webster’s, there’s not too much separation between the definition of a Liberterian and an Anarchist but then there’s not a lot of separation between a wolf and a sheepdog, except, the sheepdog doesn’t have to disguise itself in an attempt to destroy the flock. OWC should, and probably will, pass on grasping the cold and scaly hand of the Tea Party. Some of the super rich are starting to see how things are shaking out and will do anything to stop financial change.