Political Protests Now Seem to Capitalize on 'Occupy' Brand


Except for a 30-foot Wall Street banker fat cat balloon, a movie projector and a professional PA system, the event certainly had the look and sound of the grassroots "Occupy" movement.

Taking turns telling their stories to the crowd amassed at one intersection, a 22-year-old African-American woman, who said she couldn't afford law school, shouted that although knowledge was power, it took money to obtain that knowledge, and therefore, power.

A young Asian woman shouted that she was a lesbian, and kicked out of her home at 19 years old, and that no one -- gay or straight -- should ever be discriminated against, or marginalized.

A young man who identified himself as Jewish shouted that it was not fair for some people to become wealthy by stealing from others.

Virginia high school teacher Maria Glass shouted that she was sick and tired of her students joining the armed services because they lacked opportunities and money for a college education.

"Today I had another student. I had him in ninth grade. He said, 'Mrs. Glass, I just joined the Marines,' and he's shipping out to Parris Island on Sunday," she told ABC News.

"I'm sick and tired of those people who are inside," she said, pointing to the convention center. "The Koch brothers who are putting their money into my politics, they need to get out and give us back our democracy."

D.C. metro police officers stood in front of the convention center doors blocking protesters, some of whom shouted at the police officers and jeered at those inside the center, whom the police were there to protect.

"You guys are all part of the 99 percent! We're here for you, too!" one protester shouted at the police, who remained impassive.

Upon exiting the convention center, one attendee at the Americans for Prosperity event seemed surprised by the protest. He said he was there mostly to hear guest speaker Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News judicial analyst and former judge.

"I'm a decorated disabled veteran of the Iraq War, and I will defend to the death these people's right to protest," he told ABC News, declining to be identified because he said he planned to work on a Republican campaign next year.

According to Patterson, there is room for the veteran in the Occupy DC movement too.

"We are really are not here to support Obama, etc. Many of us reject party labels altogether and feel that the two-party system hurts our country and artificially divides us," Patterson said.

"In theory the true Tea Party should support 'Occupy' ideals as well, and many of them have expressed support for 'Occupy.' There is a broad spectrum of ideas and political positions within the movement. But it is more than any ideology or policy agenda or demands. It is also reclaiming public space as a place for true, face-to-face public discussion, learning and dialogue."

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