As the Occupy Wall Street protests escalate, so do the comments. Time for a good old-fashioned round-up: Here's what people have been saying on The Brian Lehrer Show and on It's a Free Country. Read and weigh in for yourself.
On the phones
Tori in Brooklyn
I feel like there haven't been bulleted, ideological points that they're trying to accomplish. So basically I'm like, why aren't you working? The only way we're going to be able to get anywhere is if we do it the right way, if we use proper channels. Without having a clear idea of what we're trying to accomplish, we can't really get anything done.
Amy in Montclair
If you don't cry, you dont get your mother. There's a huge disconnect between Main Street and Wall Street; now what we have is really a witness to Wall Street...Now we have people watching.
Ziyad in Manhattan
Whether you like it or not, it's a great exercise in democracy. For too long, government has had complete equity to make decisions on behalf of the people, and people really have not spoken up like they used to in the '60s and '70s...This kind of movement reminds the government, hey, there are people out there on Main Street who are suffering, and you guys aren't addressing this issue.
Jimmy in The Bronx
We all have tried to use the system, and we've seen the system betray us. Obama has gone the way of Wall Street and somebody has to speak up. These people are doing it, and until Obama wakes up, he's going to be a one-term president.
On the web
[P]lease don't make an equivalency between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. The Tea Party, with its anti-government, pro-deregulation position has massive funding from corporate interests. Occupy Wall Street has no such funding and indeed, opposes the very interests funding the Tea Party. Of course, there are ordinary Americans in the Tea Party, independent of the backers, but there is simply no equivalence between a group whose ideology comports so easily with large scale political interests and one whose philosophy clearly does not.
Michael from Brooklyn, NY
Anyone making the argument that there isn't a goal and that the movement doesn't have direction just isn't paying attention. The NY General Assembly web site is where you need to look for minutes of each meeting, minutes of all the working groups, and for the "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City." (http://nycga.cc/)
JS from Brooklyn
I would ask those eager to be condescending and dismissive towards the protesters "lack of clear objectives" to suggest their own solution to the current dysfunctional political and economic situation. There is clearly a very complicated and massive systemic problem in this country stemming from absurd campaign finance laws, antiquated electoral and legislative rules (filibuster), massive amounts of corporate influence in the political process, and a dependence on consumerism for economic prosperity, among many other things. To acknowledge and protest the current system is not "conspiratorial" as a conspiracy implies that a handful of individuals are pulling the strings. Instead, the nature of our political and economic systems have lead us here while the majority of the public has not been paying attention. Now people are taking notice that things aren't right - and that's a good enough start for me.
Marc from Brooklyn
They want college loans forgiven. They want home mortgages forgiven. Let me get this straight, 'cause I used to get hit in the head a lot: these people want the benefit of these major assets—valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars—and then don't want to pay for them? Where I come from, that's called theft.