There is an inspiring amount of third party and independent political activity happening at the occupation protests in New York and Washington DC. Consider, for example, the case of the Greens. In New York, Green party activists have been involved at Occupy Wall Street from the very first days of the protest. A number of weeks ago a liaison from the party made an announcement at a general assembly pledging the full support of Green party activists all over the country and asking how Greens could help the movement. A number of high profile Greens were present at the Freedom Plaza protests in Washington DC over the weekend, including Cheri Honkala, Howie Hawkins and Ralph Nader. Now, it appears that Jill Stein, a former Green party candidate for governor of Massachusetts who is seeking the party's nomination for president in 2012, has been visiting Occupy Boston in recent days and campaigning in support of the 99%.
It is not difficult to understand why third party and independent activists would be attracted to the Occupy Everything protests spreading across the country. A simple explanation is embedded in the movement's most prominent slogan: We are the 99%. The Democratic and Republican parties do not represent the interests of 99% of the American people. They are the parties of the ruling financial oligarchy and political class. They are the parties of the 1%.
Democrats, obviously, are attempting to hijack this movement the same way the Republicans hijacked the Tea Party movement in 2009-2010 and the same way the Democrats hijacked the anti-war movement in 2005-2006. At present, many participants in these protests appear to be vehemently intent upon maintaining their political independence. Yet the same was true of Tea Party activists in the spring of 2009, and we know how that turned out. The question is whether this movement will suffer the same fate. The more important question is: what can be done to avert that outcome?
As someone who was active in the Tea Party movement until it was infiltrated and destroyed by the Republican party, I urge all Tea Party activists who have maintained at least a semblance of political independence to become involved in the occupation protests. As an Independent, I urge all Independents to become active in this movement. As an advocate of third party alternatives to the Democrat-Republican duopoly, I urge all third party activists to become involved in this movement.
Perhaps some may say they do not agree with the direction this movement is heading and refuse to become involved. The funny thing is, if you become involved you can change its direction. It is really that simple.