Turning Anger Into Political Power

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The Occupy Wall Street protests that began in New York City have spread around the world and to several places in Colorado. One of those places is downtown Denver. Last weekend more than 1,000 people met in Civic Center park. Many protesters there wore name tags saying, “hello, my name is: 99 percent.” Others wrote their messages on signs.

"My sign says, if the banks are too big to fail, why is the middle class not?"
"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty."
"99% of the people should have 99% of the voice."
"This is not democracy, give the power back."
"And my sign says, I'll believe corporations are people, when Texas executes one."

As you can hear, the protesters are not rallying around a single slogan. But Norman Provizer, a political scientist at Metropolitan State College of Denver, says he hears a coherent theme in the movement’s messages.

Provizer: That the country is on the wrong track -- not just because of the debt question, and not just because of taxes but because of growing inequality and the decline of the middle class.

CPR’s Zachary Barr stepped away from covering the protests to sit down with Norman Provizer on the Capitol building’s steps. Provizer says the movement has been successful because it’s gotten people talking.

[Photo: CPR/Zachary Barr]