Published on Friday, October 21, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
“Occupy Obama” Could Turn Up Heat on the Democrats
by John Stauber
President Barack Obama is no longer running unchallenged in all the major primary states, thanks to activists in Iowa who are focusing their Occupy Wall Street activism onto the headquarters of the Obama for President campaign office this Saturday, October 22, in Des Moines.
The “Occupy Obama” event is being organized in part by veteran rabble rouser Hugh Espey and his highly effective Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a grassroots force that has been fighting for economic and social justice since the 1970s. CCI members are already participating in Occupy Wall Street actions in nine Iowa towns. Occupy Obama seems a logical next step to escalate the movement further into national view and create the potential for debate and organizing within the Iowa presidential caucuses in January.
Espey criticized Obama by name in a Des Moines Register guest editorial of October 6, 2011 announcing CCI’s support for Occupy Wall Street actions in Iowa. “Our political leaders are too busy asking big banks and Wall Street corporations for campaign contributions to push the ‘put people first’ policies that this nation needs,” he wrote. Occupy Des Moines members will march on Obama’s campaign headquarters in Des Moines on Saturday. This Occupy Obama action could catch fire nationally, especially given the frustration widely voiced that not one prominent Democrat is willing to oppose Obama in the Democratic Party’s primary races. Occupy Obama could partly fill that void. “We’ll deliver a simple, powerful message to Obama staffers, and do a speak-out as well. We want regular folks telling the Obama staffers what they think. We want Obama to understand that the 99% demand action from him to put communities before corporations and people before profits,” says CCI.