May 1 - Occupy Wall Street hoped to use May Day to shift back into high gear, but a poor turnout suggests the movement may not be able to regain its former glory. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Occupy Wall Street was planning to make a big comeback, taking aim at old targets like Bank of America and headquarters of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. empire. But the demonstration lacked the crowds of the protest's early days, leading many to question if the movement has any movement left. Political strategist Henry Sheinkopf says this group's day in the spotlight is fading fast because it lacks one clear message everyday Americans can rally behind. SOUNDBITE: HENRY SHEINKOPF, POLITICAL STRATEGIST, SHEINKOPF COMMUNICATIONS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The Vietnam war movement, the anti-war movement excited people. People paid tremendous prices, went to jail, did all kinds of things. People were murdered to fight for civil rights. The farm workers movement and even solidarity in Poland, people died in the course of creating a social and political movement that created an outcome. What's the outcome here? It's not clear. And when you are muddled you lose." REPORTER STAND-UP: CONWAY G. GITTENS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This ad in the New York Post highlights the muddled message and the fun that's being poked at it. Here at the Four Seasons restaurant they say they enjoy the 99 percent and the 1 percent, so they are pitching a $35 lunch for the 100 percent, they say work hard and eat well." The Four Season's message belies a certain truth core to Occupy Wall Street's dilemma, especially as the economy gets incrementally better and the job market continues its slow, steady recovery. SOUNDBITE: HENRY SHEINKOPF, POLITICAL STRATEGIST, SHEINKOPF COMMUNICATIONS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We can identify who the 99 percent are, everybody else would probably like to be in the 1 percent, they just don't know how to get there, and the issues are just not coalescing. There's no place to organize around." But some of the protesters say despite their structure and their multi-message approach, the overarching theme is clear. Organizer Michael Kink: SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL KINK, OCCUPY WALL STREET ORGANIZER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "And the truth is the vast majority of the people are on the sides of these protesters. They know what corporations are doing is wrong. They know that these low tax rates are outrageous. I think that people are on our side." But time may not be on their side. The lack of enthusiasm at Tuesday's events show a lack of commitment by the masses needed to effect change. Conway Gittens, Reuters