Washington lawmakers, noticing the growing momentum of the Occupy Wall Street protests that spread Thursday to the Capitol, are now making an effort to embrace the movement. Many Democrats are now calling it the “Tea Party of the left.”
According to The Hill , several liberal lawmakers, including many in the Congressional Black Caucus, have offered support for the movement.
“We share the anger and frustration of so many Americans who have seen the enormous toll that an unchecked Wall Street has taken on the overwhelming majority of Americans while benefiting the super-wealthy,” Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said in a joint statement. “We join the calls for corporate accountability and expanded middle-class opportunity.”
While the movement has been supported by many Democrats, some Republicans, including Presidential candidate Herman Cain, say that the idea behind the protest is against traditional American values.
“Don’t be jealous, don’t be envious,” Cain said of the protestors at a Florida book signing, according to CNBC. “I don’t have much patience for someone who does not want to achieve their American dream the old-fashioned way.”
Cain also said that the protestors were advocating redistribution of wealth, and that they should “go figure out what America is about.” Mitt Romney has offered similar sentiments, saying that the protests were a form of class warfare.
Ron Paul has been sympathetic of the protestors and their message, but says they need to take it to the Federal Reserve where he believes corruption between government and Wall Street begins.
The protests moved into Washington D.C. today, and the protestors have taken the following pledge announcing the reasons for the movement:
“I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that criminal occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine to demand that our resources are invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning.”