The Occupy Wall Street protests spreading across the country are mobilizing liberal activists who have
been largely sidelined in the national debate since helping to elect
President Obama three years ago.
This should be a relief to the White House, which is eager to
excite a Democratic base that has grown disappointed in the president
and less excited about reelecting him.
But it is unclear whether this sudden burst of energy on the American
left will help Obama and other Democrats. The protests are gaining
steam around a set of economic grievances and a wariness of both
parties’ reliance on corporate campaign money — and Democratic officials
are wondering how, or whether, they can tap into a movement that seems
fed up with all brands of partisan politics.
That tension has been evident in recent days in debates raging online and in person at demonstration sites across the country.
Obama strategist from Florida, Steve Schale, posted on his Facebook
page that “clamoring for change is hollow unless you vote.” He linked to an image
from the liberal Think Progress blog calling on activists to “Occupy the Polls.”
Occupy Wall Street across United States, on Foursquare
Occupy Wall Street in New York City leads with over 3,500 check-ins on Foursquare
a location-based social networking website. Occupy DC has over 150.
Protests are only shown if they have more than five check-ins and are
connected to a photograph by Foursquare users.