Tens of thousands of anti-Wall Street demonstrators have joined the protests in cities throughout the United States sparked by the Occupy Wall Street campaign in New York City. There were demonstrations of a thousand people or more in Los Angeles, Seattle, Indianapolis, Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas.
There were protests in the hundreds in cities like Boston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Louisville, Tampa, Las Vegas, Portland and Santa Fe.
In the state of Tennessee alone, there were protests in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro and Clarksville.
The sharpest confrontation took place in Des Moines, where police arrested 32 demonstrators late Sunday night, using pepper spray on at least one man. Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, ordered state police to enforce a requirement that the state capitol grounds were closed at 11 p.m.
With Occupy Wall Street off the ground, but its longevity still in flux, MoveOn.org and its cousin, the Center For American Progress, and Van Jones' Reclaim the American Dream Movement, were nowhere to be found. Instead, they were busy planning the Take Back The American Dream Conference, which took place from October 3 through October 5.
"Taking back the American Dream," Jones said in an interview appearing on AlterNet, will be a three-step process.
First, the planned November 17 "Rising Tide of Protest," a protest, led by the Reclaim the American Dream Movement, will be held in a network of cities throughout the United States. As FireDogLake's David Dayen explained, "[The] November 17 protests announced by the American Dream Movement ... [are] a one-day protest across multiple cities across the country that organizers hope will be a massive activation of their supporters."
Second, an amalgamation of coordinated house meetings and online teach-ins. "We're going to try to get a million leaders in America online and talking with each other. And that's going to be a major piece," said Jones.
Third and most importantly to an organization "powered by," (aka a project of) MoveOn.org, which among other things, is an organization that raises campaign money for Democratic Party candidates, Jones said the 2012 elections are a vital piece of the puzzle. "And then there's a third piece and it's new - and it seems to have escaped people's notice - and that's that we've said we're going to run 2012 people for office in 2012. Now, that's a big deal," Jones stated.
"We're talking about U.S. senators who want to run as American Dream candidates - soon to be announced. We've reached out to the House Democratic Caucus; there are House members who want to run as American Dream candidates," he continued.
What this translates to, in layman's terms, is the very process of co-opting a growing movement of democratic resistance and trying to replace it with a sales pitch to go out in 2012 and vote Democrat. Jones and the Democratic Party operations in disguise, namely the likes of MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress, are taking a page out of the Dick Armey and Koch brothers' Tea Party co-option playbook with this one.