The numbers say otherwise.
Ernesto Barbieri

Yes, I am not trying to argue last weekend wasn’t the largest protest — I am just using the term “stunning” (which is subjective). Since Occupy happened not because of one cataclysmic event (in fact a Dem was in charge), was almost explicitly anti-capital (whereas these protests include more diverse issues, including some partisan Dems, and elites etc….

So I found it to be more stunning. Occupy was also first so I was stunned that it broke out, that the encampments lasted as long as they did and they permanently changed the discourse.

But yes, last weekend was certainly larger than any one Occupy protest. But not identical. For starters, Occupy directly challenged private capital, threatening both parties and Wall Street. Whereas Trump has elite enemies, including the Dems, industry (Wall Street, Big media are scared of Trump’s unpredictability). It is telling that MSNBC (owned by Comcast, a huge Clinton fundraiser) and CNN (owned by TIme Warner, also a big Clinton donor, are covering these protests so glowingly, when they dismissed Occupy.

One protest directly challenged corporate domination of our politics; the other is basically anti-Trump, but isn’t explicitly focused on class. Elites can live with anti-Trump rallies and Madonna cursing etc…(in fact they will help amplify them). But if the protests are not just anti-Trump, and there is a class-based message of unity among workers vs the top 1 percent etc… they media sings a different tune.

All of that said, if it takes Trump to get people out, fine. I will happily take it. I just think that if the message is all about how much Trump sucks and not about a radical change to our politics in general — both parties — than we miss a great opportunity.

Supplemental Reading

  1. My recent article about Clinton’s donors in the media:
  2. Article about Occupy being shut-down (published soon after the Wall Street encampment was shut down):

(also see for May Day/Media reaction:

3.Article analyzing the impact Occupy/Sanders had on shaping social movement in the language of class. You don’t need to read this, but i you scroll down to the charts you can see what I mean about shaping the national discourse:

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