David Paterson Doesn’t Think We Should Underestimate Occupy Wall Street

david paterson occupy David Paterson Doesnt Think We Should Underestimate Occupy Wall Street

David Paterson (Getty)

Former New York Governor David Paterson appeared on “Real Time With Bill Maher” last night and he explained why he doesn’t think Occupy Wall Street should be easily dismissed.

Mr. Paterson made his comments about Occupy Wall Street when the show’s panelists discussed issues with the movement including its lack of a spokesperson and an incident where Occupy LA prevented a local farmer’s market from doing business. Mr. Paterson acknowledged problems with Occupy protests in various cities, but explained why he thinks the movement may still be able to make a difference:

“There are a lot of criticisms of Occupy LA, Occupy Wall Street. They may not really have leaders, they may not really understand the relationship they have to have with the same community that they’re trying to represent, the reason that I think this is happening is that nobody has protested anything in this country for 30 years, so the problem is … that we forgot how to do it. Let’s just remember there was a ragtag protest that started at my alma mater, Columbia university, in the mid-60’s, within a year it forced the President of the united states not to run for re-election because of the opposition nationally to the Vietnam War. So, the style may not be perfected, but the substance is there, the complaints are real and I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t the beginning of a new movement.”

Mr. Paterson has clearly become more bullish about the movement since he visited the Occupy Wall Street protests in late September. At the time, he expressed some optimism about the fact “young people are organizing themselves ,” but also said, “they’re still at a point where they are conferencing and organizing exactly what their point of view is, so it’s hard for me to talk about that.”


  1. John says:

    He needs to go take a good look at the Occupiers and see what a mess
    they are making. What is wrong with him?  Is he blind to the mess and
    the filth? Anyone with two good eyes could see it!

    1. Rob Mark says:

      Nice.  Racist website organizer and a basher of the sight impaired.  Fascism tends to maintain cleaner civic spaces.  Gee.  Why is that do you think?  And they did say Benito made the trains run on time . . . 

  2. Aaaa says:

    I hope he’s right, and that today’s youth has not forgotten how to protest, because the conditions call for it (even well-educated 99%ers without debt in a respectable scientific career path like myself find themselves increasingly worried by the current job market and the opportunities for financial support (school budgets are increasingly cut, and our Congress, rather than passing a jobs bill or another much needed stimulus, considers “important business” like reaffirming a contentious motto established in 1956?)).  The mess and the filth are  part of the inconvenience that the OWS movement is intended to cause.

    Also, many, many people within the OWS movement are against Obama, since they view him as a corporate enabler.  I personally still admire our president and would vote for him over any of the candidates on the GOP ticket, but I wouldn’t be too unhappy with either Romney or Hunstman (although I’d still vote for Obama over either).

    I do wonder, like most of us, what it will take to stop the protests.  I think they will continue until around the election next year, if I had to guess, since corporate America is doing their best to shut this down using media outlets/talking heads/etc..  I don’t expect any major change over the next year resulting from the OWS movement, but eventually some Wall Streeters will end up being prosecuted, some political seats will be influenced by the movement during the 2012 election, and some of the OWSers will back down after next year’s election.

    Also, I’m probably feeding the troll, but yes, Paterson is legally blind, but that doesn’t mean he’s not aware of the mess the protesters are making; if they weren’t making such a mess, they’d be doing it wrong, since protests are designed to get in the way of your everyday routine.