The White House continued its embrace of the Occupy Wall Street protests on Sunday, using the strongest terms yet to identify President Barack Obama with the growing movement.
I didn’t know Glenn Beck wrote for Business Insider.
But wait! There’s more:
In a quiet corner across the street from Zuccotti Park, a cluster of 25 solemn-faced protesters struggled one night to give Occupy Wall Street what critics have found to be most lacking.
“We absolutely need demands,” said Shawn Redden, 35, an earnest history teacher in the group. “Like Frederick Douglass said, ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ ”
The influence and staying power of Occupy Wall Street are undeniable: similar movements have sprouted around the world, as the original group enters its fifth week in the financial district. Yet a frequent criticism of the protesters has been the absence of specific policy demands.
Mr. Redden and other demonstrators formed the Demands Working Group about a week and a half ago, hoping to identify specific actions they would formally ask local and federal governments to adopt. But the very nature of Occupy Wall Street has made that task difficult, in New York and elsewhere.
In New York, the demands committee held a two-hour open forum last Monday, coming up with two major categories: jobs for all and civil rights. The team will continue to meet twice a week to develop a list of specific proposals, which it will then discuss with protesters and eventually take to the General Assembly, a nightly gathering of the hundreds of protesters in the park.
A two-thirds majority would have to approve each proposal, and any passionate opponent could call for the entire vote to be delayed.
The General Assembly has already adopted a “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City,” which includes a list of grievances against corporations and a call for others to join the group in peaceful assembly. To many protesters, that general statement is enough, and the open democracy of Zuccotti Park is the point of the movement.
“Demands are disempowering since they require someone else to respond,” said Gabriel Willow, a protester strolling past a sleeping-bag pod of young adults in the park last Monday. “It’s not like we couldn’t come up with any, but I don’t think people would vote for them.”
Okay then. Good luck with that. Hope it works out for you.
(Somebody’s been shooting pot)
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