Looking for a focused way to challenge money in politics? Look to Wisconsin. OWS has become something else


In Wisconsin, the recall initiatives are illustrating how critical mass of people can beat money through organization and mobilization”:

In the Wisconsin version of Winston Churchill’s “We will fight them on the beaches,” etc, Mike Tate, head of the state’s Democratic Party, is heard in the piece saying of the volunteers who will be gathering signatures:

“You’re going to see them everywhere. You’ll have people outside the parking lots of shopping malls over the holiday season. There will be people at the deer cleaning stands during deer hunting. We’re going to be in every aspect of Wisconsin life wherever there’s people.”

Wisconsin Recall Effort Starts As Gov. Walker’s Foes Start Petition Drive : It’s All Politics : NPR.

Occupy just doesn’t have the focus, strategy or organization it needs to be scaled and effective at mobilizing activists into impactful action. I also feel that OWS’ primary benefit was showing the world that a lot of Americans are dissatisfied with the wealth driven political culture. Other than that airing of grievance, nothing else should have been expected of such an amorphous, purely democratic and intentionally strategy eschewing movement:

UPDATE: Here are the numbers.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement’s support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street’s goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42.

Voters don’t care for the Tea Party either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed. But asked whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question. Again the movement with independents is notable- from preferring Occupy Wall Street 43-34, to siding with the Tea Party 44-40….

PPP’s polling still shows anger about wealth inequality, so

what the downturn in Occupy Wall Street’s image suggests is that voters are seeing the movement as more about the ‘Occupy’ than the ‘Wall Street.’ The controversy over the protests is starting to drown out the actual message.

Or, rather,voters are seeing the movement as more about whatever theNew York Post says it’s about, with no counternarrative presented as clearly and in as loud a voice.


The notion of income inequality became part of the general political lexicon heading into 2012. That’s good. But due to police action against protesters, some unintended things are being illustrated. Occupy Wall Street is becoming a movement that exposes the wrong headed way in which police are used and deployed to “keep the peace” by their superiors. OWS was losing steam. People were getting numbers back on how much the police over time was costing, or overblown stories about safety concerns and instant blight . Silly things happened like the Occupy Wall Street weddings. But then, some city officials decided it was acceptable to use force to disperse OWS protesters.

Last week I met a person heavily involved with OWS in New York. And I told him that something seemed to have changed in the previous couple weeks — basically that the dominant imagery had become about confrontations with the police rather than the core economic messages which had been more dominant previously. In most cases it didn’t seem to be the fault of the OWS protesters. It was peaceful or mainly peaceful protests getting met by excessive police responses. But still, at the level of imagery and message, the end result can be the same. And in this case, I’m not talking about the ridiculousness and movement-character assassination on Fox News. I’m talking about coverage that lacks that sort of committed bias.

via Changing Memes | Talking Points Memo

Police in Riot Gear ready to disperse a OWS Protest

Police in Riot Gear ready to disperse a OWS Protest (Picture courtesy of Mike Mitchell's Tumblr of Amazing Things. - dat metaphor.)