Opinion

Unions and left-wing groups organize Occupy Wall Street

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Anybody who thinks the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and elsewhere across the country sprang up spontaneously hasn't been paying attention. Aided and abetted by reams of gee-whiz coverage from the liberal mainstream media, the OWS movement represents a carefully planned and orchestrated campaign by left-wing activists to take American politics "to the street." The aim is to replace American democracy with mobocracy. Some interesting connections are coming to the fore in the process, as major left-wing activist groups and labor unions pump money, media and volunteers into the movement and integrate the street demonstrations with their own programs.

MoveOn.org, for example, put out an email fundraising appeal earlier this week that said "in addition to providing all the support we can to #OccupyWallStreet, at MoveOn we're scrambling to launch a huge campaign to make Wall Street pay. We're organizing mass meetings in hundreds of cities ... And we're helping organize two major national days of protest in November." Among the unions that have lent support are the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America, United Auto Workers, and the Writers Guild of America, East.

A question asked by many since the demonstrators occupied New York's Zuccotti Park is why Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken such a hands-off approach. The official explanation is that Bloomberg's hands are tied by the fact that the park is privately owned. There may be more to the story, however: Zuccotti Park is owned by Brookfield Properties, one of the directors of which happens to be Bloomberg's girlfriend, according to the Atlantic Wire.

Then there is this: Brookfield Properties is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Managers, which has another subsidiary, the Brookfield Renewable Power Co. The latter owns Granite Wind Power Co. in New Hampshire. Granite recently received a $167 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy under President Obama's economic stimulus program. Among BAM's stockholders is one George Soros. Small world, isn't it!

The list of infamous activists involved in the Occupy movement reads like a Who's Who of the Radical American Left. Former Students for a Democratic Society Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers posted the initial statement of the Occupy demonstrators on his blog. Wade Rathke, an ACORN founder and former SDSer, praised the movement and helped organize the Occupy New Orleans demonstrations. Another former ACORN leader, Maude Hurd, is a leader of the Occupy Boston demonstrators, who have been particularly aggressive in confronting local authorities.

Then there's Service Employees International Union's Stephen Lerner, a frequent Obama White House visitor and yet another former ACORN leader, who is among the chief Occupy organizers. One of Lerner's favorite tactics is to organize "home visits" by demonstrators at the private residences of targeted corporate executives and government officials. During a conference of left-wing activists earlier this month, Lerner promised to "terrify Washington" with such tactics. We wonder if he discussed any these matters with the community organizer-in-chief during one of those many White House visits.

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