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Protests Inspired By Occupy Wall Street Approach A Crossroads

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TWC News: Protests Inspired By Occupy Wall Street Approach A Crossroads
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Occupy Wall Street has spawned several similar protests across the country, and some demonstrators at Occupy DC, which primarily targets the federal government, say it may be time for less chatter and more action. NY1’s Grace Rauh filed the following report.

It is a movement born of frustration, but while Occupy DC shares many similarities with its Wall Street counterpart, its demonstrators aren't directing their attention at the financial sector. Instead, they’re setting their sights squarely on the federal government.

Though made up of mostly Washington residents, many at the camp have come to DC from across the country. They say they made the trip to be a part of something historic.

“It relates to everybody. Everyone can relate to this, and that's powerful. So I think anything that comes out of it will be big,” said Jake Kulke, a protester from Wisconsin.

And that feeling of being a part of something bigger is what some experts say is keeping people from near and far traveling to the Occupy demonstrations.

“Anybody who has a grievance about what's happened economically in this country has felt this is their place to go, that this is a movement which is speaking for them,” said Michael Kazin, a history professor at Georgetown University.

Recent clashes between protesters and police have sprung up at other Occupy demonstrations around the country. Occupy DC, however, has been tame in comparison. Some say too much so.

“When I came here, there were a lot of people just occupying the park. We're like preaching to the choir out here. We're all talking to each other about every problem that we have, but we need to hit the streets,” said Ashton Phillips, a former Wall Street demonstrator from San Diego.

The demonstrations have gotten the attention of at least a few in Congress.

“I really hope that it will reach the point that people start listening to them and listening to the facts,” said Manhattan Representative Charles Rangel.

But some say it’s time for demonstrators to pack up their tents and look for new ways to make their message heard by those in power.

“Many people who live around the parks and work around the parks will want their parks back, and so the demonstrators will have to move on,” said Kazin. “They'll have to think of the next thing to do.”

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