Tea Party Launches Attacks on 'Occupy Wall Street'

Thursday, 13 Oct 2011 01:33 PM

By Martin Gould and David A. Patten

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Tea party activists have gone on the offensive against anti-Wall Street demonstrators just a day before the New York protest threatens to come to a head.

The Republican party-within-a-party is taking pains to point out the differences between its genteel grass-roots movement and the disparate groups camping out under tarps pushing a range of left-wing causes.

And their point is likely to be driven home on Friday when a major confrontation between police and the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York is predicted.

Editor’s Note: Tea Party Secrets Revealed. Get the Inside Story.

“The motivation between Occupy Wall Street and the motivation from the tea party are completely different,” Bryan Shroyer of  theteaparty.net tells Newsmax.

“From their signs, speeches, and websites, they want to continue this push of America down this road of increased government involvement and increased socialism. The tea party is simply a collection of patriots from across the nation who want to get our country back to its capitalist roots.”

Shroyer pointed to a video from the demonstration in Los Angeles in which one leader was cheered when he called for violent revolution. “That’s very telling in terms of what this group is looking for,” Shroyer said .

Sal Russo, co-founder of Tea Party Express, also called out the advocacy for violence. “If any nut said something like that at a tea party rally, can you imagine the outcry?” he asked Newsmax.

“I am not worried about the Occupy groups; they are out of touch with the American people and have no coherent ideas of how to right the American ship of state.

A major flashpoint in the protest is likely on Friday as Brookfield Office Management, the owners of the park the protesters are using as a New York base, clean the area. They say the work needs to be done for health reasons and wrote to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly asking for help.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who generally has supported the protesters, went to the park late on Wednesday to urge organizers to move out peacefully to allow the cleaning. A chorus of boos and catcalls greeted him.

In a statement, Bloomberg said, “The last three weeks have created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park.”

He pledged that the protesters would be allowed to return, “provided they abide by the rules that Brookfield has established for the park.”

But many of the demonstrators fear the cleaning will be used as a pretext to force them out of Zuccotti Park, named for Brookfield Chairman John Zuccotti.

“Wear and tear on what? On marble and concrete?” protester Will Schneider said on CBS News. “Like how do we wear and tear that? I’m not buying it at all.”

Lauren DiGoria, another of the Occupy Wall Street group, said, “We are working 24/7; we do not rest. We encourage cleanliness. We encourage everyone to take care of their belongings and pack up neatly.”

But the reality of the situation in Zuccotti Park is different. The Daily Mail famously published a picture of one demonstrator defecating on a police car and reporters found mountains of trash and rotting food piling up.

"Sanitation is a growing concern,” Brookfield said.

Editor’s Note: Tea Party Secrets Revealed. Get the Inside Story.

In the run-up to Friday’s possible confrontation, conservatives are increasingly trying to point out the differences between the tea party and what columnist Ann Coulter called the “flea party” because its supporters are “wingless, bloodsucking, and parasitic.”

Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said she is “offended” that the media portrays the two groups as mirror images of each other.

“I see no similarities,” she said in a fundraising letter. “The OWS crowd have had thousands of arrests, have harassed citizens trying to go to work and do their jobs, have had confrontations with law enforcement and destroyed public property.

“They are a disorganized unruly mob of shiftless protesters that has been reinforced by union and organized labor thugs,” she added.

“Their goal has been to cause as much disruption as possible and force anarchy.

“In contrast, there have been thousands of peaceful and respectful tea party rallies across the USA over the past three years,” she said. “The Tea Party Express alone has hosted over 301 and there has not been one arrest or incident of violence. We say a prayer, recite the pledge of allegiance and sing the national anthem before each rally.”

Brendan Steinhauser of the grass-roots conservative organization FreedomWorks told Newsmax the difference between the two groups is clear. He pointed out that, when the tea party movement blossomed in 2009, “No one was assaulted, no one trashed the place, no one relieved themselves on cop cars because we respect private property rights and we respect public property rights.

“In the entire history of the tea party movement, I’m not aware of over a handful of arrests. And these guys have easily had a thousand or more.

"They’re fighting police in Boston. I doubt they have permits, I doubt they treat the police well. Whereas we went and got permits, we obeyed the police, we thanked the police, we picked up our trash.

“We’re happy warriors, and these guys seem to be just the opposite.”

The Tea Party Patriots website says the differences between the two groups are far greater than any similarities. “For two years now, tea partiers have stood firmly on principle and helped shape the political debate in this country,” the site says.

“They believe in time-honored American values, principles and systems including the freedom to innovate and employ people to implement and distribute one's ideas to the public. They believe freedom from government allows entrepreneurs to try new things, see what works and discard what doesn't.

“By contrast, those occupying Wall Street and other cities, when they are intelligible, want less of what made America great and more of what is damaging to America: a bigger, more powerful government to come in and take care of them so they don't have to work like the rest of us who pay our bills.”

But Max Liberty, writing at TeaParty.org said there are many similarities between the aims of the two groups and suggested tea party sympathizers should take OWS protesters for lunch. “Vast good can come out of this,” he wrote.

“The Wall Street protesters have plenty of enthusiasm but not very good guidance,” he said. “All the wrong groups are involved so far. Far-left outfits like Move-on.org, George Soros, big labor bosses, socialists, and outright communists.

“We can't allow these thousands of protesters in numbers cities to be misled. They need to be recruited with real solutions.”

Editor’s Note: Tea Party Secrets Revealed. Get the Inside Story.


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