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Galindez quotes Iowa Occupiers: "'Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, January 1 - 3, we will chase the candidates and their Wall Street cronies around the state of Iowa, dogging their heels at all their black-tie dinners and staged media events, drowning out their empty rhetoric with the strong, clear message of the 99%: We are taking American democracy back! This election year, while the world's attention centers on Iowa, for once the loudest voice will be our voice, the voice of the People, the voice of the 99%.'"

Supporters of presidential hopeful U.S. Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) attempt to block Occupy Wall Street protesters who are disrupting a campaign event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Dec. 28, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Supporters of presidential hopeful U.S. Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) attempt to block Occupy Wall Street protesters who are disrupting a campaign event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Dec. 28, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)



Occupy Brings Life to the Iowa Caucus

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

29 December 11

 

must start with a disclaimer: I am not in Des Moines, where I have spent the last few caucuses, but I am wishing I were there instead of laid up in a hotel room in Washington DC, trying to recover from bronchitis. I was thinking the other day what fun it would be to occupy the caucuses in Iowa this year. Can you imagine what it would be like if Iowans sympathetic to the Occupy movement all registered as Republicans and actually attended their caucus? You see, unlike the Democratic caucuses, the Republicans' are not usually that well attended. I would say that at the least Ron Paul could get a huge boost, from single digit to ... Wait, he is already leading the polls?

I was scanning the channels in my hotel room this afternoon, and to my surprise, there it was on C-SPAN: Occupy the Iowa Caucus. Around 250 people had gathered for a meeting on Locust Street in Des Moines (a city where only Obama has a campaign office). The Repugs seem to all have chosen West Des Moines, or the suburbs. Well, at least this thing won't be totally boring without the Deaniacs, Kucinich supporters, or Obama army of the past 12 years.

From what I am hearing, Ron Paul is the only one with a strong ground game in Iowa. The rest either are treating it like cramming for a final exam, or tried but could get nobody to follow.

I did hear one Occupier at the planning meeting for the Occupy the Caucus event say that he was going to attend his caucus. Too bad the Repugs don't operate under the same rules as the Dems. An organized effort at the Democratic caucus could really twist things in knots for a while. But as I understand the Republicans, they just go to their meeting and express their preference, count the votes, elect their delegates, and go home. I'm wondering why the networks are even there. It's just not good TV like watching a Kerry supporter try to convince a Kucinich supporter why John Kerry is better than Howard Dean. Well maybe that's only good TV for us political junkies.

Here is the call to action on the Occupy Des Moines web site:

 

For too long, the 99% have been silenced by Wall Street and greedy corporations while the 1% ruling elite have robbed us of our democracy, our dignity and our livelihood. But no longer. The people are awake, we are strong, and we are rising up to take back what they stole from us.

 

From December 26 until the Iowa Caucus on January 3, a convergence of American voices such as this country has never seen before will descend upon Des Moines. We are the 99%. And we will be heard. We're taking our demands for true democracy and economic justice directly to President Obama and the GOP candidates, to the banks, and to the media. They've ignored each of us as individuals, but they can't ignore us all.

Tuesday, December 27, it begins with a People's Caucus, a Caucus of the 99%. Together we will raise our voices and prepare to take our grievances into the streets, kicking off a week of trainings and teach-ins that will empower every member of the 99% to act in solidarity to break Wall Street's chokehold on our democracy.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, December 28 - 30, we'll change words into actions. President Obama and the other bought-and-paid-for candidates who give us the brush-off when we try to ask real questions will be forced to hear us as we converge upon their campaign headquarters. We will be loud. We will be determined. We will be heard.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, January 1 - 3, we will chase the candidates and their Wall Street cronies around the state of Iowa, dogging their heels at all their black-tie dinners and staged media events, drowning out their empty rhetoric with the strong, clear message of the 99%: We are taking American democracy back!

This election year, while the world's attention centers on Iowa, for once the loudest voice will be our voice, the voice of the People, the voice of the 99%.

- OccupyDSM

This sounds like a good time. I was wondering what Iowa was going to do without the Dems in town, but it appears the Occupy movement will be providing the back story. I'm guessing the networks are grateful - the only thing worse than spending the first week in January with Iowa Republicans is spending the month of August in Crawford, Texas, without thousands of protesters.

Update: The arrests have begun. About 75 Occupiers converged on Romney's campaign headquarters Wednesday afternoon, with 7 arrested for refusing to leave his property. Three more people were arrested about half an hour later for starting an occupation at a branch of Wells Fargo Bank.

Gingrich headquarters used a different tactic: they waited for Occupiers to arrive with coffee and doughnuts. Hmmm, that smacks of desperation, and also will draw the homeless and the police on a regular basis. I think a volunteer messed up and gave the coffee and doughnuts to the protesters and not the police, for whom the Gingrich finance team had budgeted them. But then again, Gingrich's finance team quit months ago, and he is struggling to get ads on the air in Iowa, so maybe he thinks he can get the Occupy vote.


Scott Galindez was formerly the co-founder of Truthout, and is now the Political Director of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+6 # rom120 2011-12-29 08:39
I only hope the Occupy movement, where ever, gets coordinated, has an overall agreed on agenda and some good leaders.
 
 
+9 # tingletlc 2011-12-29 11:33
Why?! It's working as it is. (You're thinking back inside the box.)
 
 
+7 # jwb110 2011-12-29 12:39
Quoting tingletlc:
Why?! It's working as it is. (You're thinking back inside the box.)

I agree with you, tingletlc. OWS works just fine the way it is!
 
 
0 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-30 01:57
I am of the opinion that if they are going to continue to make an impact, they need to support or field candidates that understand the movement, and get them elected. If all they do is occupy space, and talk, they're going to give away their power.
 
 
+15 # mwd870 2011-12-29 08:39
As always, I admire the citizen activists willing to occupy the offices of Republican headquarters in Iowa. As far as the caucuses, I don't see how they are important enough to protest. However, with all the media coverage, it is a good venue for a peaceful Caucus of the 99% to voice the ideals and solidarity of the Occupy Movement.
 
 
+1 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-30 02:00
With enough involvement, they have the potential of giving the first win to someone who is a complete also-ran, like Pawlenty, who's never done well in the polls, but makes more sense than most of them.
 
 
-16 # jmcauliff 2011-12-29 09:17
Not just a waste of time and energy but counterproducti ve. Occupy is turning into protest for the sake of protest.

Contrast its self-absorption with the Tea Party focus on individual members of Congress which segued naturally to taking Congressional seats and exercising power in Washington.

Campaign donations and votes are publicly available. Research can link them together and become the focus of challenges to both Democrats and Republicans about whom they actually work for and what they will do to take the corruption of money out of politics.
 
 
+5 # Feral Dogz 2011-12-29 10:22
Independents and Democrats could have a more meaningful place in the 2012 election by registering as Republicans and voting in the primaries for the most un-electable wingnut egomaniacs that the GOP is so capable of proffering. Though it does seem the GOP is entirely likely to do this on their own. Occupying the GOP does seem like a viable tactic to destroy the malignancy from within.
 
 
+8 # lark3650 2011-12-29 12:08
Standing up for what is just and right is never a waste of time. Go OWers!
 
 
+3 # Scott Galindez 2011-12-29 13:28
Holyone,

you do see that It was tongue and cheek throughout. Bronchitis made me a little snarky.

I am struggling with how to address the leadership question. Good intentioned people are trying to provide leadership and they are fighting other good intentioned people...and there are co-optors, its hard to see what group to follow.
 
 
+3 # Activista 2011-12-29 13:44
Leaders imply hierarchy. Movement from bellow - power of powerless - does NOT need hierarchy at this stage.
 
 
0 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-30 02:16
How do you expect to effect change, if you have no support for people who can effect that change where it has to be made?

We don't have a national town hall meeting every time we need to vote on something, we elect representatives who go to work for us in Congress. If we elect the wrong people, we end up with people like the TeaTHUGs who currently occupy more than half of the House. If we elect the right people, they go in there and work with others to improve the plight of ALL of us.
 
 
+1 # Bruce Gruber 2011-12-30 06:42
So, in 2008 the January Iowa caucuses logged in about 120,000 die hard party voters in a major effort to transfuse anti-progressiv e 'conservatism' into the Republican party bloodstream. The effort had a mixed result. A quarter of the support went to Romney (sound familiar?)more than half went to alleged conservatives and reactionaries. John McCain got only 13% of the vote (ONLY 15,500 votes - half as many as Romney)and ended up the Republican nominee. The total vote was less than 20% of ANY single Congressional District population. McCain's Iowa vote in January 2008 was less than 3% of any Congressman's electorate.

My point?!? All this media hoopla and focus on an ideological contest between subtle nuances of anti-welfare, anti-social security and medicare, anti-government regulations, anti-universal voters rights, anti-union, anti-women's rights and anti-Obama racism ARE JUST A "Rope-a-dope' smoke screen. It camouflages the intent of the 1% investment in continued re-education of America toward the social Darwinist, pro-profit AT ANY COST (except to the public, of course), robber baron mentality of wealth and power in this country and the world as the oyster of the rich.

If OWS mounts ANY significant numbers or influence in Iowa, it must be suppressed by the media to keep focus on misinformation and division in society as the plutocrats' goal. Keep up the good work 99%. MAKE 'EM PAY!
 
 
0 # Fi10Gale 2011-12-31 02:33
A new political party will be formed by an off shoot of the OWS movement. The 99% Declaration is a huge movement. http://occupyforaccountability.org/index.php?q=node/136
 
 
0 # RuthieRader 2012-01-02 00:18
Geez, everybody seems to be getting this rotten crud. I am here in Iowa and caught it...and it slammed me down...right after Christmas. Now, even Newt has it! Sorry that you got it, dude...I wish it on no one! I think I saw the same broadcast on C-Span that you did. Anyway, get better and be glad that you are not in the way of all that contaminated hot air that Gingrich is going to be blowing all over everybody. Yeah, Iowa...right now...it's just a State full of a bunch of sickos. :^)
 

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