Democrats were desperately jealous of the Tea Party movement and the energy it brought to the limited-government movement. Several attempts to astroturf a liberal counter-movement (e.g., the “Coffee Party”) failed, but they finally got theirs in Occupy Wall Street. The differences between the two movements are instructive.
The Tea Party rallies were law-abiding, obtained proper permits, and cleaned up after themselves. The Occupy Wall Street movement is the exact opposite. The very name glorifies trespassing, but their crime wave also includes assaults, rapes, theft, vandalism, attempted kidnapping, drug trafficking, and of course littering. John Nolte has compiled a list of hundreds of criminal incidents involving OWS, and those are only the ones that made the news.
OWS’s defenders would doubtless plead that the crimes are committed by a few bad apples. Well, first of all, that’s a hell of a lot of bad apples. All of these crimes came from a movement that is much smaller than the Tea Party movement.
Second, the left and their allies in the legacy media were more than happy to tar the entire Tea Party movement with antics of a few, and they still weren’t able to come up with crimes. The best they could find was some signs, and one racial incident that never happened.
Third, it’s simply not true. A scientific poll of Occupy Wall Street found that 31% support violence to advance their agenda. And the anti-law-enforcement tones is set from the top. The OWS leadership has explicitly held law enforcement at arm’s length, even to the point of discouraging rape victims from reporting rapes to the police, instead preferring to deal with rapes internally.
POSTSCRIPT: Criminality is not the only thing that sets OWS apart from the Tea Party either, there is also hygiene. New York City finally broke up the original Zuccotti Park encampment because of rapidly worsening health conditions.