“Bernie’s campaign — like the [Bill] de Blasio campaign [for New York mayor in 2013], like the [Elizabeth] Warren campaign [for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts in 2012] — are lineal descendants of Occupy,” said Bob Master, who is political director for the Communications Workers of America and co-chairman of the ACORN-affiliated Working Families Party.
“These campaigns, and Sanders most dramatically, are Occupy Wall Street translated into electoral politics,” Master told CNN. “This is the revolt of the 99 percent.”
Master believes Verizon workers, who were involved in an intense contract battle when Occupy arose in 2011, are benefiting from the media hype and radicalism that are part and parcel of the new Occupy protests. Sanders joined striking Verizon employees on a Brooklyn picket line last week.
“Occupy Wall Street helped create the political climate that helped Bernie’s message to resonate so widely, simply by shining a spotlight on issues of Wall Street greed and income inequality,” said Sanders campaign mouthpiece Karthik Ganapathy.
“We’ve been able to tap into the energy of [Occupy] and channel that into something tangible and concrete and forward-looking,” he said. “They’re here [working on the campaign]. I see them, I see a lot of them volunteering, making phone calls, knocking on doors. It’s a natural fit.”
Occupy’s list of complaints about America has always mirrored Sanders’ own.
“I applaud them,” Sanders said in 2011 when the movement was born. “They are speaking to the real anger and frustration that millions of Americans feel at a time when the middle class is collapsing, poverty is increasing, the people on top are doing phenomenally well.”
Last week Occupy people created a publication called The Battle of New York specifically to stick the shiv in-between Hillary Clinton’s ribs during primary season.
Occupy never really went away after the stakes of the rape tents in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park were pulled up. Since those glory days of defecating on police cruisers, firebombing, and other destruction of property, Occupy activists have been involved in plenty of unpatriotic mischief.
Since it was created four-and-half years ago, the Obama-endorsed Occupy Wall Street has been swirling around in the background like an opportunistic infection ready to besiege productive lifeforms. Many of its organizers have lent their talents to the violent Black Lives Matter cult whose racist, subversive leaders are regularly wined and dined at the Obama White House. America-hating speculator George Soros funded Occupy though he has funded Black Lives Matter much more aggressively.
Occupy has emboldened the Left, allowing the open promotion of communist themes and ideology.
The movement succeeded in mainstreaming some Marxist ideas, moving the so-called Overton window, i.e. the range of ideas that are acceptable in public discourse, on several fronts. It forced the phony political issue of “income inequality” into the national political debate. It’s responsible for the endless regurgitation of the envy-inducing phrase, “the one percent,” which depicts the wealthy as class enemies of everyone else. Not everyone accepts the frame, but few challenge it, even among conservatives.
Occupy leaders held a “March for Bernie” in lower Manhattan Saturday, filled with the usual radical kooks, students, illegal aliens, welfare recipients, and uneducated millennial celebrities. Gothamist reported that 4,000 people attended and described that relatively miniscule gathering in a city of 9 million people as “huge.”
High-profile Occupy organizer Beka Economopoulos orchestrated a phone-banking effort for the Sanders campaign from symbolically important Zuccotti Park. “It was another one of those moments that helped solidify the connection between the folks who had been part of Occupy and the Sanders campaign,” said organizer Charles Lenchner.
Occupy veteran Winnie Wong, who describes the clichÃ©-loving Independent senator from Vermont as “my brother and my organizing comrade,” co-founded People for Bernie, which is a component of the evolving Occupy movement.
“What’s really amazing is that the star organizers, and I don’t want to use the word star, but the core organizers, the people who were really dedicated to organizing and trying to create processes and structures, those people are all overwhelmingly in support of Bernie Sanders,” she said. “And that’s really big because we’re really smart. We are talented, dedicated, passionate, smart, organizers, and we’re all organizing behind Bernie Sanders.”
Wong is excited about the civil unrest she hopes Occupy Wall Street will unleash on an America that she ought to know is sick and tired of President Obama’s relentless push aimed at fundamentally transforming the nation he despises.
“We’re living in transformational times,” she said. “It’s very exciting to be aware and engaged in 2016, because it’s just about to get good. I won’t say that it’s going to get better right away, but it’s about to get really good. And I think that nobody’s more aware of it than Bernie Sanders.”
Let the games begin.