Occupy Wall Street, shows power of small groups

I visited #occupywallstreet tonight to see for myself what the crowd is like, and see what was going on for myself.

It's a lot smaller than I expected, maybe 500 people.

Shows just the power of a small group of people and how they can get a group of issues onto the national stage. Yes, I know, I saw it on a small night. Folks I talked to said the crowds ebb and flow and that when it was warmer, last week (tonight was cold, wet, and windy) the crowds were bigger and more energized.

But now this protest is facing a few big tests: 1. colder weather is coming soon. 2. the Mayor wants the protest to move around the city so that the park can be cleaned up. We'll see if he can convince folks to move peacefully. If he pushes too hard he'll give this group the airtime they need to grow their ranks.

I met up with other Google+'ers there. +Arun Shroff +Rocky Barbanica +JoAnne Kao and +Ashish Caleb Gattegno That was enjoyable, but because I haven't had enough time to get to know this group I'm going to stay away from trying to explain anything deeper. There are plenty here who are covering the politics and the undercurrents of what's causing this, and associated protests around the US at #occupywallstreet .

There is anger here, though, at the system itself and that anger hasn't been fully expressed. That might scare people, but it also is healthy, I think, for our democracy. That alone energized me and gave me hope for the future.

Our country has seen rough times in the past and other protest movements that thrived in the 1960s, for instance. It'll be interesting to see where this one goes and how, or if, it continues to have an effect on our national debate.
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