During an interview with MRCTV, radical anti-war group Code Pink's Medea Benjamin said that neither Van Jones, nor Service Employees International Union organizer Stephen Lerner are behind the "Occupy D.C." and "Occupy Wall Street" movements.
Benjamin's statement, however, contradicts The Blaze's earlier report that revealed Lerner was behind the initial "Day of Rage" protests that served as the inspiration and launchpad for Occupy Wall Street:
"Now, the US Day of Rage protests, staged by a collective of activist groups allegedly in conjunction with Lerner and Rathke, are planning the actual “occupation” of Wall Street September 17, complete with a tent city set smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan’s financial district. Similar protests are purportedly set to take place across the nation — and even world — at the same time. Some Day of Rage organizers are even calling on activists to squat in Manhattan’s financial district for months at a time."
When asked whether the SEIU organizer was behind Occupy Wall Street, Benjamin told MRCTV Lerner was not involved and did not even want to "touch it," stating that it was only after seeing overwhelming public response to the "Occupy" movements that Lerner, and in the broader scope, the unions, wanted to become involved.
Likewise, Benjamin asserted that Jones, too, did not have anything to do with the planned protests despite his promise of an "October Offensive." Jones held a rally outside of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on October 5, 2011.
Watch the interview below: