A national movement called “Occupy Wall Street” is attacking corporations for what protestors call greed. This Week, the protests came to Charleston to start-up “Occupy Charleston,” a branch of the movement that is asking for accountability. “Occupy Charleston” members say one percent of the nation is made up of big business and corporations controlling the struggling economy.
Although the movement is not specified to one political party, the South Carolina New Democrats–an independent reform group–is throwing its support behind it. President Phil Noble says their endorsement doesn’t clarify the movement as Democratic.
“We are not a party. We are a group of people who are independent of the Democratic Party, but we are essentially all Democrats. I think there are lots of political party people involved to occupy New York Wall Street just as there are lots of Republicans involved in the Tea Party,” says Noble.
The ongoing Wall Street protests have lasted three weeks so far, and members say the movement will only get bigger–until the economy changes.
Noble says, like the Tea Party, “Occupy” will develop a clearer strategy–as right now they just want change.
“Over time the Tea Party has, to some extent, focused their message and developed a little bit clearer agenda, and I think, over time, the same thing will happen with ‘Occupy’,” says Noble.
Noble says if you set aside the ideology differences between the Tea Party and “Occupy Wall Street” they both have at least one common factor–
“They both feel alienated from the political system. They both feel that their voices aren’t heard. That the political class has separated from the people, that the rich and the powerful, whether it is in terms of the bank bailout or the ones who express there is a 99 percent–there is a hostility and an anger,” says Noble.
Former South Carolina Governor Dick Riley created the South Carolina New Democrats.
“Occupy Charleston” holds public meetings every Thursday. Members say they hope to have a public protest demonstration on October 21.
Besides Charleston, similar groups are forming across South Carolina, in Columbia, Florence, and Spartanburg.