Van Jones offered a prediction Wednesday for those who have been watching the Occupy Wall Street movement: “You haven’t seen anything yet.”
The former Obama administration “green jobs czar” — an ardent supporter of the Occupy movement since its inception — said in an interview with CNN that the movement is ready to evolve into the areas of politics and policy-making, much like the Tea Party did in 2010.
“You’re going to see an evolution now as you go from protests, keep the protests, but now expand into politics,” Jones said. “And if you thought there was an earthquake in 2010 when the Tea Party moved into politics, wait until this 99 percent movement moves over into politics. You haven’t seen anything yet.”
Jones said the movement is “going to be recruiting 2,000 candidates to run for office now under this 99 percent banner” as Occupy Wall Street enters “phase two.”
“Phase two, you move from anger to answers. You move from pointing out the problem to pointing out the solutions,” Jones said. “What you’re going to see now is you have the Occupy movement at the center, that’s the beating heart.”
Jones said despite New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park, “you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube and you can’t evict an idea.”
“This movement is about much more than just one park or one tactic and one city,” he said.
Asked about the violence that has plagued parts of the movement, Jones said any violence associated with Occupy Wall Street “whether it’s street violence or police violence, needs to be called out and has been called out and denounced.”
He added, however, that there has been more violence outside the demonstrations than inside, and that Occupy groups should be given “credit for having been overwhelmingly peaceful.”
“And most of the people who have been hurt — unfortunately, whether you’re talking about the veteran who was put in a coma or the reporters that were hurt yesterday — were hurt by our law enforcement,” he charged.
Asked by CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux whether he might consider becoming a leader or spokesman for the outspokenly “leaderless” movement, Jones said no.
“We’ve learned that leader-centered movements don’t work. This is about a leader-ful movement. It’s not leaderless. It’s leader centric. It’s leader-ful,” he said.