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Occupy Wall Street explainer

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Politicians, pundits and media all over the world have tried to whittle it down to a comprehensive explanation, but it’s not an easy job. Here is one example, from HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, featuring former Democratic Representative Alan Grayson and his take on the meaning of the Wall Street protests.

 As representatives of #OccupyTogether have stated, “no one group, person, or website could ever speak for this diverse gathering of individuals.” And while this broad agenda may be the reason for their strength in numbers, it is also the main source of criticism. Many critics believe the movement lacks a cohesive message, and even originators like Kalle Lasn have urged supporters “to get some of their demands together”.

 The original Adbusters campaign poster – featuring a ballerina dancing atop the Wall Street bull statue – originally came with the slogan “What is our one demand?” While the NYC General Assembly has come up with a long list of injustices, there is yet to be a clear, agreed-upon demand.

 Lasn and his colleagues say they believe that the “one demand” could be for a Robin Hood Tax – a one percent tax on all financial transactions that could essentially help redistribute the wealth.

 Commentators have also pointed out ties between the current Wall Street movement and the Tea Party, despite very public criticism from the latter about Occupy Wall Street and its tactics. Most comparisons hinge on another important cause on which both movements agree – opposition to financial sector bailouts funded by taxpayer’s money.

 Opinions on #OccupyWallStreet

 Everyone seems to have something to say about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Here are just a few of their comments:

 President Obama

"I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel…These days, a lot of folks doing the right thing are not rewarded. A lot of folks who are not doing the right thing are rewarded. That will express itself until 2012 and beyond until people feel they are getting back to old-fashioned American values."

Nancy Pelosi

US House Democratic Leader

"I support the message to the establishment, whether it's Wall Street or the political establishment, that change has to happen,"

 Glenn Beck

Conservative Broadcaster/Author

"Capitalists, if you think that you can play footsies with these people, you're wrong. They will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill you...they're Marxist radicals...these guys are worse than Robespierre from the French Revolution...they'll kill everybody."

 Bill Clinton

Former President of the United States

“On balance, this can be a positive thing, but they’re going to have to kind of transfer their energies at some point to making some specific suggestions…They need to be for something specific and not just against something, because if you’re just against something, somebody else will fill the vacuum you create.”

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