Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement have surfaced in Iowa in support of “democratic socialist” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his proposed “political revolution” in pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination.
Members of Occupy immediately endorsed Sanders only hours after he announced his candidacy. Sanders has echoed Occupy’s drumbeat of the “99% versus the 1%.”
Some Occupy activists expressed their delight at Sanders’s candidacy to the Los Angeles Times.
Hugh Espey, arrested for refusing to leave the grounds of the Iowa statehouse, said, “Occupy helped elevate the narrative that we have a rigged political system and a rigged economy,” adding that Sanders’ popularity is partly “the inheritance” of Occupy.
Winnie Wong, of the People for Bernie, enthused, “It’s been about making sure that we hang on to the narrative and the dialogue that people were talking about when Occupy was alive and thriving.”
Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs, of the Des Moines Occupy movement, waxed eloquent about his chosen leader:
We went from this moment in Occupy where we were just beginning to shed a light on these issues in a profound way on the national stage to the moment we’re in now, where we actually have a candidate for the highest public office in the country who has a platform that is addressing all of the issues that Occupy raised. A candidate who talks about socialism could actually become president. It’s absolutely unprecedented.
Sanders’s radical left-wing ideology fits perfectly with the Occupy movement’s heated rhetoric about inequality. Only three weeks ago, Sanders pontificated, “If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist,” adding that Wall Street was capable of ripping apart “the fabric of our nation.”