Who Are the Occupiers?

Aaron Rutkoff at the Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday summarizing a scientific poll of the protestors. The results are relatively unsurprising as they reveal that the plurality of the protestors are young and supportive of left-wing causes. They are also disproportionately un- or under- employed.

Here are some highlights from the survey:

  • 49% of the protestors are under 30
  • One-third identify themselves as Democrats
  • One-third don’t identify with any party
  • Not a single respondent identified herself as a Republican
  • 33% are either un- or under- employed vs. 16.5% in the overall U.S. population as defined by the U-6 measure of unemployment
  • Of the 56% of protestors who voted in 2008, 74% voted for President Obama
  • More than three-quarters support increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but only 42% support increasing them on all Americans
  • A plurality (44%) hope to influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the Republican Party, or to engage and mobilize progressives

Based on these statistics, it is clear that the movement does not speak for 99% of Americans. Rather it appears to be the vanguard of the post-Obama progressive populist people’s politburo.

Move along. There’s nothing more to see here.

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About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Conservative clean energy crusader, national security hawk, financial analyst, engineer, and former military officer.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Business, Finance and Economics, Humor, Media, Politics, Socialism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Who Are the Occupiers?

  1. That’s really a bit astonishing. Do you actually believe The Wall Street Journal, Murdoch’s bulwark, is a reliable source for information on OWS?

    After the events of this past week do you still believe there’s “nothing to see here”? Seriously?

    • It’s no more reliable than the New York Times.

      I also think the movement is beginning to splinter, especially after the events of last week. Oakland and Denver seem to be noteworthy examples.

      • I don’t think I’ve looked at the New York Times twice in the past five years.

        If you think Oakland and Denver splintered the movement, “splintered” must be a euphemism for “galvanized.” Or else one of us is completely wrong. I’m getting my feedback from the protestors on the ground in real time.

        • “If you think Oakland and Denver splintered the movement, ‘splintered’ must be a euphemism for ‘galvanized.'”

          I think both probably galvanized some folks already in the movement, but I also think the events provided a stark contrast between the more peaceful members of the movement and the more violent ones. In that sense, they likely weakened the appeal of the movement in my opinion,

  2. Xavier Onassis says:

    The very few people who were looking for confrontation were banned by the rest of the group.

    You may think the momentum of this group is dissipating. I guarantee you that’s wishful thinking. Taking input from the King of the 1%, Ruper Murdoch (or his employees, agents or assigns) is kind of self-evident, don’t you think?

    I noticed all day long #antisec Anons have been talking about the mayor of Tulsa, who I believe can expect a big old shitstorm. Are you aware that within hours of Scott Olsen’s shooting they had hacked Oakland PD? Dozens of them (that I’m aware of) spent the night poring over photographs and videoclips to determine who exactly shot him. Then they released his home address, home’s sale price, wife and children’s names, photo of their home, and like five phone numbers.

    So I think Rupert’s wrong about their loss of focus. Do you genuinely think this movement is dying down or dissipating now? Believe they’re losing support among the mainstream?

    XO

    • That kind of behavior seems to me to be a major violation of privacy, and it’s not likely to win over others. Releasing his children’s names – really? That is the most sadistic thing I’ve heard all day.

      • Xavier Onassis says:

        Yeah, I don’t advocate releasing people’s personal information at all, even the guilty. I like western jurisprudence. I don’t know though, I think sending drones to kill children in foreign countries is actually more sadistic. I don’t approve of that either.

        What’s funny to me is this idea that we should be trying to win you over. At some point the meaning of “new paradigm” will become experientially understood. Trying to “win over” people who are dead set against working with you is a fool’s errand — look how well that’s worked out for Obama. Funny that you think we’re losing because we’ve switched to a completely different game.

        • “I think sending drones to kill children in foreign countries is actually more sadistic. I don’t approve of that either.”

          C’mon. Do you honestly believe our military does things like this on purpose?

          “Funny that you think we’re losing because we’ve switched to a completely different game.”

          But the game isn’t different. It’s been done before, and it will be done again. Oakland is already devolving into violence, exactly as I predicted. Vandalizing property and preventing people from working doesn’t exactly help generate sympathy for a movement. If the movement is to be successful, it needs to convince people to follow it. I don’t think it is succeeding at that level. But you’re probably right about one thing, there is probably no amount of convincing me at this point that the movement is a good or righteous thing. Fair enough.

  3. In the world of left-wing thuggery things like exposing children to potential harm and harassment are encouraged and supported. Rape and indecent exposure also seem to get a free pass through the “yah, but” kind of responses that OWS supporters tend to give after hearing of it.

    XO, even you seem to be bragging about the kids’ names being published in some sort of “look how powerful we are” kind of way. Amazing what you guys do to try and give yourselves some sense of significance. Sick and twisted, in my opinion.

    “Do you genuinely think this movement is dying down or dissipating now?”
    Who cares how big it gets in the short-term. It’s only one foot-sniffer or rapist away from being the biggest joke of a movement we’ve ever had in human history, if it isn’t already..

    • Scott Erb says:

      Vern, look past your irritation dispassionately and I think you have to recognize that a movement OWS has had amazing success, spreading across the country and the globe, and its contributed to a change in the tone of the conversation about the economy. It is viewed more favorably than the tea party. I personally don’t agree with the tactics of Anonymous, though given police actions it is understandable (after all, the state has the guns). But overall I think one has to be amazed by how such a global movement sprang up apparently out of nowhere and captured a lot of discontent and frustration (again, an example of the impact of new media and the communication/information revolution). Ultimately this can be a very positive thing, and can be the makings of a longer term social movement addressing the “democratic deficit” caused by globalization. I agree with distaste at some of the tactics (of both sides) but in a Machiavellian sense it’s been working.

      • Hi Scott,

        First,I recognize that there’s going to be negative elements within any group, but seriously? The end justifies the means here? I know you don’t condone those actions, but I think it’s wrong to simply ask me to look at the “bigger picture” here and ignore them. Maybe it’s just me, but to me these crimes are just an (albeit sick) extension of the same entitlement issues that seem to exist at the core of this group and why the entire group has very little (if any) respect from me any more.

        Second, when did the Machiavellian defense become acceptable by the left? Don’t they reject this as a response to why soldiers die in war, or this yet another case of double-standard from the left?

        Park benches and cop cars are no longer the victims of these guys. Now it’s their own people and even young kids and we’re supposed to just accept that as OK, as “part of the struggle”. Not me.

        • Scott Erb says:

          Actually both left and right are at their core Machiavellian. Following Machiavelli’s famous is/ought distinction, I’m saying that as an IS statement, not an ought statement. I worked in Washington DC in the Senate in the 1980s and the power hungry nature of that game caused me to reject a career there. I had my foot in the door with a really good position, one I could have easily built a career on top of, but I didn’t have the heart to play that Machiavellian game. So left or right, I have no illusions about how the participants look at power.

          I do think OWS (and the tea party) are likely both more pure than the Democratic and Republican parties (again, I may be jaded from my experience). I do think there is in protests like this (or with the police) a “man bites dog” aspect to the coverage. A cop that is too rough suddenly becomes the face of the New York or Oakland PD. A group of protesters who want trouble are seen as the face of OWS. The reality is that tens of thousands of people nation wide go simply to try to be heard and make a difference. To me that is really good — it is so much better than the apathy that has often been the norm. So I look at that and tend to see that as the vast majority, not the ones that make the headlines (they also have stories about sanitation efforts, transparency in funding/use of money, cooperation with communities, etc. — really impressive positive stories too). I think if you look at FOX you’ll see the negatives exaggerated. MSNBC focuses on the positives. The reality is I think overall it’s a far more responsible group of demonstrators than the sixties protesters, and my hope is that they do shift from protest to starting a more productive movement.

        • “Actually both left and right are at their core Machiavellian.”
          I’d agree to this in theory, but would challenge it in practice as far as what the Tea Party and OWS have considered to be acceptable means to achieve their ends.

          “…my hope is that they do shift from protest to starting a more productive movement.”
          My hope as well.

    • Xavier Onassis says:

      “In the world of left-wing thuggery things like exposing children to potential harm and harassment are encouraged and supported. Rape and indecent exposure also seem to get a free pass through the “yah, but” kind of responses that OWS supporters tend to give after hearing of it.”

      Vern, are you just making stuff up again? What rape and indecent exposure? What “yah, but”? Admittedly my familiarity with the people in this movement is limited by only observing them directly, so I miss out on the right wing misinformation machine’s take on things. What I’ve observed firsthand directly conflicts with what you’ve posted, like diametrically opposed.

      “XO, even you seem to be bragging about the kids’ names being published in some sort of “look how powerful we are” kind of way. Amazing what you guys do to try and give yourselves some sense of significance. Sick and twisted, in my opinion.”

      No, my point was in response to Sean’s assertion that there was a lack of focus or cohesion following the first round in Oakland. On the contrary, I saw an immediate, highly focused collaborative response, and was amazed to watch it unfold in real time on Twitter.

      Secondly, my point is that the media is itself identified as part of the problem. Were you aware that the Oakland PD was hacked within hours and the specific assailant identified? If not, why are you still confident in the information you’re receiving? You’re receiving a fraction of the story spliced generously with lies, delivered by the very people who will lose their privilege when this movement succeeds. I know you’re smart enough to see what’s wrong with that picture, you just choose not to.

      ““Do you genuinely think this movement is dying down or dissipating now?”
      Who cares how big it gets in the short-term. It’s only one foot-sniffer or rapist away from being the biggest joke of a movement we’ve ever had in human history, if it isn’t already.”

      That’s an interesting turn of phrase. People on the ground are saying that people they’ve never seen before are showing up and breaking windows, starting trouble with the police, etc. Almost like agent provocateurs, like the right wing operative who instigated the macing incident at the museum in DC.

      Meanwhile, the joke’s on Grover Norquist. Forty House Republicans are suddenly interested in raising taxes. In a surely unrelated incident, the senate has introduced an amendment to reverse Citizens United. Eric Cantor, Man of the People, is now talking about “income inequality” instead of “shared sacrifice.” Sure, “nothing to see here,” just a bunch of Republicans whistling past the graveyard.

      Whose port? OUR PORT. Who’s too big to fail again? 650,000 new credit union accounts 10/11, more than for all of 2010 — and “move your money day” isn’t until 11/5 (Guy Fawkes’ Day). Ridicule, lie, dismiss, deny, you won’t stop this any more than you’ll stop the sunrise.

      • Scott Erb says:

        I’ve also noticed that the GOP is starting to change its rhetoric. I think OWS is part of a shift in the political discourse; the focus of the conversation is changing. In politics, that’s huge.

      • Please. Regardless of what you say happens on the ground the fact is you have zero influence right now over what’s seen on the airwaves about you. You don’t need the support of squatters, you need it of everybody else that you pretend is already with you to really have leverage come voting time.

        Until then I think your message remains largely diluted by the violence that is inevitable with the thug tactics you support.

        Re: the publishing the kids’ names, I call b.s. on your response. You skipped right over it, and look at the context – you were clearly bragging. And now what – you’re acting like the assaults, drug abuses, and sexual abuses never happened? Even your own media’s been forced to report it. Right, it must be the evil right wing conspirators. Couldn’t at all be a bunch of druggie losers you either invited in to your group (they do make up part of the 99%, don’t they?) or you let in out of sheer incompetence. It’s not like union mobs have a history of destroying someone else’s property, either. Either way, ignoring the violence as “not us” is pure convenient ignorance on your part and completely disingenuous. The crimes have occurred in your refugee camps, and on your watch. You invited it, therefore you own it, and it’s your trash to clean up.

        “In a surely unrelated incident, the senate has introduced an amendment to reverse Citizens United.” Haha! Ok. Give yourselves credit for the sun rising today and I don’t know, curing polio while you’re at it, too. I wouldn’t count your chickens before they hatched, even if by some chance they were yours. You’re being scoped out, and the best way to get you guys to give up control is to make you think you actually have it when you don’t. Right now I don’t think you do, and neither government or business will let it seem for one minute like they caved to thugs’ demands. Bottom line is unless you get those thugs and molesters out of your ranks you have no chance of lasting.

        “650,000 new credit union accounts 10/11, more than for all of 2010 — and “move your money day” isn’t until 11/5 (Guy Fawkes’ Day).
        Now we’re talking!!! :) If true, this I’d gladly give you guys credit for. Do that as well as taking some responsibility for cleaning up your group and who knows, you may even make a supporter out of me yet.

        • Xavier Onassis says:

          “I’d agree to this in theory, but would challenge it in practice as far as what the Tea Party and OWS have considered to be acceptable means to achieve their ends.”

          Tea Party tactic: showing up at rallies armed to the teeth, including a man bringing an assault rifle to hear the president speak (?!?); signs that say “liberal hunting permit,” “I came unarmed — THIS TIME,” “don’t tread on me,” “water the tree of liberty,” the president as a Nazi, the joker, etc. Threats of violence ranging from thinly veiled to in-your-face.

          OWS tactic: Go to a park or other public location and stay there until things change. Form a system of governance that respects all participants and the community as a whole. Show me the pictures of the violent signs and rhetoric at OWS.

          Why do they send riot police out to the unarmed group? They don’t feel the need to disperse the heavily armed group with teargas, bulldozers and flashbangs, just the unarmed one. Who are the thugs here?

          Link me to the reports of child molestation, or for that matter anyone on the left doing anything like the Gabrielle Giffords, Holocaust Museum, Tides Foundation, Murrah Federal Building, Olympic Centennial Park, multiple Planned Parenthood bombings, etc. You can’t! Why? Because it hasn’t happened. Do you not get how laughable it is for the right wing to call ANYONE thugs?

          There just isn’t enough crazy juice inthe whole country for you guys to carry the day.

  4. Scott Erb says:

    My blog today was about the Greek referendum, but it actually speaks to issues that I think are motivating Occupy Wall Street: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/greece-sovereignty-and-democracy/

    • I think you see the movement for what it really is at it’s core, but to me it’s getting more polluted rather than more pure as time goes on. You seem, to see the better in people than i do, and can view things from a larger, more academic perspective. I appreciate that.

      Ironically I think we both want the same thing from the movement: organization, intelligence, and strength that will make it a serious contender. The tactics they’re using, however, are meant to topple governments, not corporations, which is why I think they’re hardly having an impact on either, in my opinion.

    • Scott,

      A very insightful and well-written post. I disagree with your conclusion, of course, but I like how you framed what was at stake. I don’t like the fact that a few million people can have the power to harm several billion.

      • Scott Erb says:

        Thanks — and I certainly see your point too. The small ‘d’ democrat in me wants the people to have a say, but the political economist in me sees that as dangerous. We live in interesting times.

  5. Xavier Onassis says:

    “I think sending drones to kill children in foreign countries is actually more sadistic. I don’t approve of that either.”
    C’mon. Do you honestly believe our military does things like this on purpose?”

    I note the lingistics; releasing a child’s name on the internet is “sadistic,” but sending giant metal hornets to rain hellfire on remote villages on the other side of the world is what, “whoopsie diddle” when their kids get BLOWN TO SMITHEREENS? I guarantee you there are a lot more kids laying in bed at night terrified of predator drones than hackers, and with damned good reason.

    I don’t approve of either activity, again. But it sounds like you’re OK with the drone thing. Who are you calling sadistic?

    “Funny that you think we’re losing because we’ve switched to a completely different game.”

    But the game isn’t different. It’s been done before, and it will be done again.”

    So we’re still stuck on “this is just another Woodstock? i find it hard to believe you believe that. If you really do think that this is just the same as all the other horizontal democratic revolutions that have ever happened before, well, all I can say is that corporate media has done its job.

    “Oakland is already devolving into violence, exactly as I predicted. Vandalizing property and preventing people from working doesn’t exactly help generate sympathy for a movement.”

    Funny thing about that. The authorities, especially in Oakland, seem to be provoking violence. The OWS organizers are actually very clear on not allowing people to respond in kind. There’s some debate, becasue some people are extremely pissed off. But overall the message is very clear; this is a trick to get us to respond in kind so they can blame us and try to make us look bad. Bad news for the status quo: we’re onto your games, and we’re not responding the way you want us to. Vern nailed it, this is about changing the government.

    Someone broke a store window in Oakland; OWS GA responded by posting people at the broken window to prevent any further damage or looting. yfrog.com/kkl0whbj

    “If the movement is to be successful, it needs to convince people to follow it. I don’t think it is succeeding at that level. But you’re probably right about one thing, there is probably no amount of convincing me at this point that the movement is a good or righteous thing. Fair enough.”

    Well, that’s partly what I said, in terms of not wasting time trying to get Republicans to approve, which they won’t. A lot of us are sick of watching the party that supposedly represents us standing there swinging its arms while the Republicans hold them back with a palm on their forehead and laugh laugh laugh. We’re not playing the good cop/bad cop thing anymore.

    I respectfully disagree that this movement needs to “convince” people. Whole lotta people already get it, and bottom line, it’s already working. We’re just getting started, and as I posted before, already both Congress and Wall Street are whistling a different tune. Have you noticed that no matter how much naysaying you do, nobody’s discouraged? Go figure.

    Even so, the decidedly non-Machiavellian structure is pretty irresistable. http://www.newschannel5.com/story/15957186/vanderbilt-republicans-protest-occupy-nashville

    • “I don’t approve of either activity, again. But it sounds like you’re OK with the drone thing. Who are you calling sadistic?”

      I am completely OK with using drones to kill people. I am not OK with deliberately targeting children in any way. And that is the fundamental difference. The US military does not deliberately target women and children. In fact, the US military has spend billions of dollars on advanced precision munitions to avoid targeting innocents. Anonymous is deliberating targeting this officer’s children.

      “The OWS organizers are actually very clear on not allowing people to respond in kind.”

      Well they’ll obviously not doing a good job of controlling their people. If my soldiers occupied a building and vandalized a Whole Foods, the Army would have had me court martialed.

      “Have you noticed that no matter how much naysaying you do, nobody’s discouraged? Go figure.”

      Oh, I have no intention of discouraging this movement. It is actually quite entertaining to me, because it exemplifies every stereotype I hold about the left. The longer it lasts, the more people violent people will become (they tend to do that when they are in close quarters and the weather turns sour), and President Obama will end up with a defeat in the next election. The last time this happened, Nixon was elected.

  6. Someone broke a store window in Oakland; OWS GA responded by posting people at the broken window to prevent any further damage or looting. yfrog.com/kkl0whbj
    Someone within your movement protesting with you broke a store window. Good that OWS GA posted someone there, but two things I have to say to that: 1) It shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and again, it’s happening on your watch. 2) Is OWS going to pay for the window? What about the store owners out there scraping paint off their windows – are they out there scraping off the paint with them? If it’s happening, I’d love to see it. If not it’s sad that someone should have to even suggest it.

    “Vern nailed it, this is about changing the government.
    Bull$hit. I’ll believe that when I see you guys parked in front of a governor’s mansion or the White House. That said, if all you’re saying is either true or coming true and that is your end goal, I look forward to seeing your next non-violent move.

    By the way, what do you think of the “Agency Formerly Known As ACORN” shredding documents (again) to hide their OWS involvement?

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