The face of Occupy?

Daniel Murphy is arrested in New York on March 17, 2012.

The Occupiers: A Liberal and a Radical Struggle for the Soul of a Movement

At 5:30 p.m. on January 16, Ben Zucker was in full planning mode. Zucker is a key organizer within Occupy DC in McPherson Square Park, which at that time was the movement’s largest and longest-running encampment, and Occupy Congress was his baby. Organizers had put out the call for thousands of supporters to come greet their elected officials and raise the public’s awareness of corporate influence in government. And after two and a half months of bad press and in-plain-sight hibernation, this was a chance for a fractured Occupy Wall Street to win back mainstream America.

“We are protesting the influence of the ‘one percent’ on our society and no better way to do it than take it right to the doorsteps of power,” Zucker said, wide-eyed and beaming. It had to be organic, symbolic, and structured, he thought, since it was disorganization, a muddled message, and clashes with police that had damaged the movement’s reputation and stunted its growth. His dark sweater and black jacket seemed too large for his frame, but along with his overgrown auburn beard, they helped protect him from the biting cold. The next day promised to be warmer.

At 23, Zucker has the organizing gene. He’s a fresh graduate of Tulane University, where he studied public health to get a foot in the door of social justice work, and his family lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, just inside the Beltway. He once spent a semester running a health program in Senegal, and upon his return, he got involved with a protest by dining services workers. Zucker, who was hooked after first swinging by McPherson in early October, represents the liberal side of the movement. He wants universal health care and federal takeovers of big banks, and he thinks Occupy Wall Street is a good way to make it all happen.

That’s a sharp contrast with Murphy, a Long Beach native who earned his high school diploma in 2004 but never graduated. At 17, he was sentenced to more than two years in the California Youth Authority for stabbing three people at a coffee shop after his friend was punched.

Murphy was released in February 2006, then enrolled at a local college and found work with United Parcel Service. Two years later, after transferring to another university, he landed an internship through the Panetta Institute for Public Policy in Representative Stark’s congressional office. It was a thankless position that allowed him to walk constituents through marble hallways during the day and then liven up with hotel parties at night.

After the internship, Murphy went back to UPS in California and stayed there until early 2011, when he set off for some travel. He first heard about Occupy Wall Street last fall when he was with his then-longtime girlfriend on Utila, the third-largest Bay Island off the coast of Honduras. He initially thought it was another leftist demonstration that wouldn’t go anywhere, but grew excited when he saw it lasting for months.

Two guys in their early twenties. Two rebels without a clue. Maybe we need a new rule that says don’t trust anyone under thirty.

Here’s the best part:

Zucker is planning smaller efforts around Washington, too, and acknowledged that regaining the momentum Occupy Wall Street had in October will be crucial to its future. “It’ll be hard to bring that sort of spontaneous, grassroots energy back to the movement,” he said. “It’s going to take energy and organizing and intention.”

Murphy has a different plan. In April, he’s heading out to Oakland; protesters there know how to have a good time and aren’t afraid of a little confrontation. But despite his frustrations, he thinks Occupy Wall Street is perfect right now — not too organized, not too destructive. “It’s above ground, it’s legal, it’s nonviolent. It’s the ideal front organization for a revolutionary movement,” he said. “You can filter in money to this place, you can get volunteers, you can start vetting people to make sure they’re not cops, all in a very above-ground manner.”

He won’t go into details, but he’s brainstorming. Something along the lines of a group, conceivably within Occupy Wall Street, organizing itself for actual regime change and using the demonstrations as a disguise. But should the movement sputter out, Murphy said he’d reluctantly find a college in New York and finish the last few credits of his political science degree, then get a job. He would again become part of the system that he intends to destroy. He would have no choice.

Murphy could go all-in and declare war on the United States. Then after robbing a few banks and setting off a few bombs he could go back to prison calling himself a freedom fighter and telling people he was a political prisoner.

All those “Free Mumia” people would have another martyr to adore. Maybe Bill Ayers would write a book about him. Matt Damon could play him in the movie.

Maybe he could even get his face on a line of T-shirts.

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38 Responses to The face of Occupy?

  1. DeniseVB says:

    Well this sure won my heart and mind for the occupiers /sarc–143758276.html

    Of course the first thing I thought of was pity for the poor janitors who had to clean that up. Take that you 1%ers !!!

    • votermom says:

      Ew. Poopy heads. What is it with obots and scatalogical obsessions.

      • WMCB says:

        OWS has the mentality of 12-year-old bratty boyz. The kind who think it’s a great act of chest-beating bravery to leave flaming bags of dog poop on the neighbor’s doorstep.

        OWS is the political version of the Jackass TV series. It’s aimless pranksterism with the veneer of ideology to give it some imagined higher purpose.

        The thing that offends me about OWS isn’t their radicalism. It’s their tedious and lowbrow banality. Their ugliness isn’t sharp and directed – that I might respect, even if I disagreed. But it isn’t. It’s pedestrian, unimaginative, whiny destructiveness. It’s shit-smearing tantrums writ large.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Wasn’t it Nancy Pelosi who wanted us to embrace their spirit ? Lord knows, I’m trying 😀

        • myiq2xu says:

          I can’t figure a guy who gets out of juvie prison (for an offense that would earn him his first two strikes if he was an adult) and within months he’s going to college and working at UPS.

          UPS? Jobs don’t get much better for ex-cons. I know a few non-ex-cons who would like to work there. Then he even took a year off to be a congressional page.

          So what’s his problem with the system?

        • votermom says:

          Stabbed 3 people. Wow.

        • driguana says:

          yessir….the trite tribe…

  2. myiq2xu says:

    John Edwards is First Name Uncovered in ‘Millionaire Madam’ Investigation

    A call girl working for alleged “Millionaire Madam” Anna Gristina told investigators she was paid to have sex with former U.S. Sen. John Edwards when he was in New York raising money for his failed presidential bid, DNAinfo has learned.

    Edwards is the first big name to surface in connection to Gristina’s alleged prostitution scheme run out of an Upper East Side apartment.

    His lawyers were contacted by DNAinfo, but did not comment.

    According to “On The Inside” sources, Edwards allegedly hooked up with one of Gristina’s high-end hookers in 2007 when the dashing pol from North Carolina brought his then high-flying presidential campaign to the Big Apple.

    The one-night fling allegedly took place at an Upper East Side hotel suite and was arranged by an aide with help from a New Yorker familiar with Gristina’s prostitution ring, sources said.

    • votermom says:

      Everytime I get embarrassed all over again for having fallen for his campaign promises, I remind myself of how humiliated his kids must be.
      Poor kids.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Ahhh, the political pain that keeps on giving. Thanks JRE, you hypocritcal “family guy” grinning a**hole. Sheesh 😉

      • Lulu says:

        I liked him too although I was a Hillary supporter from day one. In memory of Elizabeth, I would like you and I to pass him in a hall somewhere …..AND KICK HIS ASS.

        • votermom says:

          Sounds like a plan!

        • Lulu says:

          We could take turns kicking and chase him. But not in a courthouse. We would get caught although the court personnel would be laughing.

        • WMCB says:

          Well, instead of the stupid glitter-bombing, I think we should start condom-bombing the prick. Everywhere he goes throw condoms at him, while chanting “If you’re going to be a dick, you should dress like one!”

          Actually, women ought to do that with all prick politicians. Just follow them around with giant phallus hats, big foam finger dicks, etc. Out the pricks.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Wonder what happened to the movie The Politician ? I remember it’s status was pre-production on imdb for awhile and even had cast

          Everything’s scrubbed clean now ?

        • Lulu says:

          WMCB those are very interesting protest ideas. I know someone who sent her ex-husband an industrial size box of frozen corndogs. The birthday card read “Corndogs for the Horndog”. There was much hilarity at his job. In turn for her birthday luncheon he showed up and presented her with a beautiful professionally framed and matted enlargement of her mugshot for DWI.

  3. WMCB says:

    LMAO! I popped over to GayPatriot to see what the conservative gay guys had to say lately, since they tend to give very reasoned analysis of the R field. I found this quote from Erick Erickson (whom I don’t like at all, but that’s another story) that gives a perfect mental image of Santorum:

    The Santorum campaign stumbled badly in Puerto Rico, gave up a lead in Illinois, and the candidate proved horribly undisciplined. Like Dug the dog in Up getting distracted by every random squirrel, Rick Santorum loses all ability to focus when social issues come up. (more…)

    Yup. Huckabee was that way as well. The guy was actually very reasonable on many issues, But the minute some social sin got mentioned, the craaaaazy came out and he lost his grip on reality.


  4. votermom says:

    Hey, vote in Darrell Issa’s poll:

  5. votermom says:

    I crack myself up:

  6. HELENK says:

    there is something really wrong about this. They do not seem to be getting their money’s worth out of today’s colleges

    • votermom says:

      How do they get to raise their tuitions so much? I swear US colleges & unis act like a cartel. Just compare to the rest of the world. Ridiculous.

  7. swanspirit says:

    #occupoopers , stolen from hillbuzz 🙂

  8. DeniseVB says:

    I found the face of in your face.

    BM doesn’t get it does he? The new civility is supposed to be let’s be most excellent to each other ? If he can’t attack conservative women, he doesn’t have a show. He must be getting some flack from his bosses at HBO 😀

  9. driguana says:

    It will be really interesting to see how “other” demonstrations and gatherings by “other” groups such as The Tea Party will be dealt with as the spring unfolds.

    My 29 yeqr old Down Syndrome son came to the door yesterday with daffodils to wish my partner and I Happy Spring…there are good humans still around!!!

    • HELENK says:

      how wonderful for you and your family to know such love

      • driguana says:

        Yes, thank you, Helenk…..that and having worked for 40 years in community development and urban and regional planning at the local level have made me realize it is time to stand up and talk about what really is behind those curtains of life…

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