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An onlooker takes a photograph of Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York's Zuccotti Park. The demonstrations were inspired by a blog post by Kalle Lasn, founder of Adbusters magazine.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues into its third month, many are asking whether public demonstrations will influence politicians and change public policies. Like the Tea Party, OWS is a grassroots movement that rails against large institutions—banks and financiers, instead of government and taxation.
A recent Pew/Washington Post study finds that 63% of Republicans polled support the Tea Party compared with only 13% of Democrats. Those on the left tend to support the Occupy movement – half of Democrats and 62% of liberal Democrats – while Republicans disapprove, with 55% in opposition.
In a few cases protesters cross party lines and participate in both groups. And the picture is more mixed for independents--43% support Occupy and 30% support the Tea Party.
Beyond public opinion, do the movements get fair—and equal—treatment in mainstream media? Which outlets dig deep to get to the heart of these decentralized movements?
Tom Rosenstiel, Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism at Pew Research Center
PJ Davenport, Activist with OccupyLA; Freelance Television and Multi-media Producer
Ashley Ingram, Executive Director of the California Young Republican Federation and a Tea Party Activist