With a move that seems to have removed any doubt about where the Democratic Party stands regarding the Occupy Wall Street protesters, the top campaign arm for House Democrats circulated a petition Monday urging people to “stand with” the movement.
In a heartfelt plea sent via email Monday morning, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Director Robby Mook appealed for signatures to an online petition in support of those who want “to let billionaires, big oil and big bankers know that we’re not going to let the richest 1% force draconian economic policies and massive cuts to crucial programs on Main Street Americans.”
According to Fox News, the DCCC is trying to gather 100,000 signatures for its petition to “send a message straight to Eric Cantor, Speaker Boehner, and the rest of reckless Republican leadership in Congress.”
The appeal comes after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other Republicans sharply criticized the protesters on Friday. At a Values Voter Summit in Washington, Cantor said he was “increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country.”
At the same summit, businessman and GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain called the demonstrations “anti-capitalism” and “anti-free market.” On CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Cain said it is “anti-American” to protest bankers. He said Wall Street didn’t write the “failed economic policies.”
In response, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Cantor is being selective in his criticism.
“I didn’t hear him say anything when the Tea Party was out demonstrating, actually spitting on members of Congress right here in the Capitol, and he and his colleagues were putting signs in the windows encouraging them,” she told ABC’s “This Week.”
Pelosi also said she supports the protesters’ message, essentially giving them Democrats’ blessing, and, seal of approval:
“I support the message to the establishment, whether it’s Wall Street or the political establishment and the rest, that change has to happen. We cannot continue in a way that does not — that is not relevant to their lives. People are angry,” she said.
As for the demonstrators, the Columbus Day holiday gave many additional free time to rally in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Protesters camped out in Freedom Plaza near the Treasury Department in Washington said they planned to stay longer than their permit allows, and would be willing to risk arrest.
“We have until 2 p.m. today to remove our possessions. We do not intend to do so. We suspect that if the police want to remove us by force they will wait until evening. So we’re throwing a dinner party, and 99% of the country is invited. Our permit is now the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” wrote David Swanson, a member of the “Stop the Machine” protest group.
Oddly enough, Congressman John Lewis D-Ga., who attempted to show solidarity in his home state at an Occupy Atlanta protest, was reportedly turned away by one of the protest groups. No clear explanation was given as to the reason behind the group’s decision.
Meanwhile, Occupy Wall Street’s “Declaration” comes complete with a corresponding 55-page document posted online that includes ideas for a “new economic charter.” According to Fox, the charter includes suggestions for a new salary structure where doctors would be paid $28,000; lawyers would be paid $27,500; teachers would be paid $35,000; and bankers would be paid $20,000.
Under the charter, the President of the United States would earn a staggering $40,000 per year.