On this one-year anniversary of the start of the Occupy protests, let’s refresh our memories about what really happened.
Despite the divide-and-conquer tricks of both the mainstream Left and the mainstream Right, Occupy and the Tea Party were originally protesting the exact same thing: the malignant, symbiotic relationship between big government and big corporations. Conservative and liberal protesters both railed against the unchecked power of the Federal Reserve.
Indeed, if the partisan shenanigans on both sides hadn’t derailed the protests so quickly, Occupy and the Tea Party would have joined forces in a way which affected real change.
Highly-militarized, federally-coordinated police used such brutal violence to break up the Occupy protests (see this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this) that the Egyptian military used the crack down on Occupy as justification for the murder of protesters in Tahir Square, Egypt.
(Despite media portrayals, the Occupy protesters were not violent.)
While psuedo-conservatives may laugh, true conservatives do not find this amusing. Remember that according to Department of Defense training manuals, protest is now considered “low-level terrorism”. And see this, this and this). And an Army colonel has written a paper advocating military methods for “crushing” a Tea Party insurgency.
(While the slur of "dirty hippies, get a job" was applied to Occupy protesters, most of them actually had jobs, and many economists supported their demands. Again, people may agree or disagree about specific positions, but true conservatives defend everyone's right to speech and assembly.)
Speak with most Americans today and you will be amazed that they don’t realize (1) how much police violence was inflicted or (2) that the protesters – like the original Tea Party protesters – were standing up for the American people against the incest between big banks in New York and politicos in Washington.
The bottom line is that the powers-that-be used a combination of brutal violence and disinformation to take the wind out of the protests. Any protests – whether they be of a conservative bent like the Tea party, or a more liberal flavor like Occupy – are doomed to failure unless we can reach the people with the real facts.