Occupy Wall Street feels a lot more radical. It feels a lot more people-driven (check out We Are the 99%), a lot more in tune with the undertow of discontent with government dysfunction. It may appeal to some of those who joined the Tea Party, whose rapid drift into insanity and blind, right-wing fanaticism must surely have dismayed some of its original proponents. Occupy Wall Street's targets, so far as I can tell, are the ones we need to be addressing: the excess of corporate power, the hegemony of wealth, the misappropriation of the political and judicial system to further profit-making goals at the expense of those of us who simply live our lives, and want to work and achieve a modicum of comfort and happiness.
Something has gone seriously awry. The Tea Party, give them credit, were the first to choose activism and revolt in the face of widespread indications of systemic failure. In being misled into focusing all their outrage on "big government" and the deficit, however, they were soon beguiled into sacrificing their own economic interests to those able to take advantage of their passion--and what I personally see to be their naivete and gullibility. As a grassroots effort, now clearly spreading beyond its narrow New York City origins, Occupy Wall Street has much in common with the Tea Party, but is focused on the controlling forces behind government, those who determine the outcome of elections and shape all aspects of the government's work with their money.
I found this "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City" online. It's worth reading. I hope that the activities and disruptions of the past few days will prove, as I believe, to be no more than the first tentative eruptions from a vast cauldron of discontent that boils just below the surface in every part of the country. We are in dire need of the non-violent revolution they portend. The Declaration: