Were OWS protesters dirty f’g hippies? New study: Not so much.

Despite what Fox News thinks and the image that they would like to promote, the Occupy Wall Street supporters do have jobs and they’re also educated.

Maybe it’s the education bit that upsets Fox and the rest of the GOP. Even Bobby Jindal recently recognized that the GOP is the “stupid party.”  And we all know how much the Republicans hate science. Shall we take a walk through memory lane?

Remember the time that future GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio said that the age of the earth was one of life’s “great mysteries.” In fact, it’s only a mystery to Marco Rubio.  The age of the earth is 4.5bn years, or so.

Or the time former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that it’s elitist to send your kids to college.

Then there’s climate change.  Where you’ve got Santorum, Fox News, Romney’s campaign rally, and who can forget Sarah Palin, all good for a laugh.  Or Senator Inhofe who compared global warming science to Hitler.

And in pretty much every category that deals with hate, intolerance, and ignorance, there’s always Tennessee, which has been trying for a while now to become the new Alabama.

So it’s interesting, thought not surprising, to find out that a new study shows that the Occupy Wall Street quote wasn’t as DFH as Fox et. al. tried to portray it.

99% 1% OWS

99% via Shutterstock


A new study from CUNY’s Joseph A. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, based largely on a sample of protesters interviewed during a mass May Day rally last year, found that the majority of participants were white and well-educated (76 percent of respondents had a four-year degree). Two-thirds of Occupy protesters had professional jobs, the sociology study found, with nearly a third living in households with incomes of $100,000 or more. Meanwhile, nearly a third of the protesters had been laid off or lost a job and a similar number said they had more than $1,000 in credit card or student loan debt. A significant number of respondents were precariously or underemployed and 10 percent of respondents were unemployed and seeking work.

Unhappy with this hard truth, Murdoch’s other rag, the New York Post, didn’t miss the opportunity to change gears and attack the OWS crowd as 1%-ers. Of course. They never miss an opportunity to criticize anyone with an education.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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18 Responses to “Were OWS protesters dirty f’g hippies? New study: Not so much.”

  1. SkippyFlipjack says:

    That’s great stuff. I’m glad they’re doing so well. It’s not the reorganization of the entire fabric of America that some of their numbers imagined but I think that’s probably a good thing

  2. an ows-er says:

    ows has played (and continues to play) a vital role in providing mutual aid to hurricane sandy victims in NY and NJ

    ows in the process of purchasing a building in downtown madison, to turn into a housing for the homeless

    ows-strike debt has purchased over $11 million of distressed medical debt and erased it

    ows has helped (and continues to help) people all across the country in foreclosure to re-occupy their homes

    ows has participated and supported (and continues to participate in and support) union strikers and unionization efforts all across the country

    ows isn’t about camping in zuccoti park. zuccoti was just an extremely successful “launch”–madison avenue wishes it could have as big an impact as zuccoti park and the concept of the 99% vs 1% did. in less than month, zuccoti had made it acceptable to talk about labor rights, income inequality, solidairity again–before zuccoti, how long had it been since these subjects have been discussed and taken seriously by the mass media? how long has it been since the solidarity fist has been waved proudly by over weight, middle-aged, blue-collar men and women?

    ows was the brain child of adbusters, who though anti-consumerist, completely understand and excel at marketing. this is something that previous leftist movements didn’t understand or utilize, but right-wing movements did. marching in the street has never changed anything, what causes change are countervailing memes going viral. ows isn’t about occupying physical space, it’s about occupy imaginations. the only thing that has ever prevented something from being possible, is too many people thinking it is impossible.

    this wasn’t just a clever image: http://www.breakingcopy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/ows_poster_tipoftheiceberg_sized.jpg

  3. they’re quite active in Portland OR. Every week they stage actions to support people who are being evicted from their homes. They run soup kitchens and town hall meetings. And they’re hosting a lobby day next week at the state house for universal healthcare. Just because you don’t see them outside your window doesn’t mean they’re gone.

  4. Bill_Perdue says:

    OWS, in terms of the fight of working people against Democrats and Republicanism and their union busting and wage gutting, is very much the beginning of a pro-union league of the unemployed, much like the groups that aided strikes by Cleveland rubber workers, Toledo auto parts workers and many others.

    OWS has developed close solidarity with dock workers and rail workers on the West Coast.

    American City Charles Walker, Farrar and Reinhart, 1937

    Labor’s Giant Step Art Preis. Pathfinder 1964

    Labor’s Untold Story United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America 1955

    The Labor Wars Sidney Lens, Doubleday Anchor 1974

    The UAW, 1934-39 Henry Kraus, University of Illinois Press1993

  5. NMRon says:

    Hey, I’m well educated, make a decent living and consider myself a proud ‘Dirty Fucking Hippy.’ I have the T-shirt to prove it. I hate when these ‘studies’ play into the Corporate con-game of divide and conquer.

  6. Patricia Presti says:

    The current Planets are doing the same powerful thing they did in the 1960’s. I’m hoping that OWS will pick-up on the strong wind they have behind their wings right now!

    “The few years ahead may stimulate intense revolutionary action and
    reaction, they also provide opportunity for wide sweeping solution that
    heralds us into a new time/paradigm on Earth. This article is an
    in-depth exploration of the 2012-2015 Uranus-Pluto Square, the initial
    Uranus-Pluto synodic cycle that began in the mid-1960s, and the
    energetics of these events catalyzing what should become another major
    evolutionary transition for us all. Red areas in the timeline below
    indicate the intense and challenging periods during the catalytic
    Uranus-Pluto square”.


  7. Patricia Presti says:

    I am an old Hippie who experienced the 60’s upfront and center…
    As a student of Astrology, the same exact Planets

  8. karmanot says:

    You Go!!!!

  9. karmanot says:

    The Citadel, that fascist lump of cold hearted grey stone. Send your boys to prison early in life and it will make you a Catholic real man….just like Rick Santorum.

  10. karmanot says:

    Please Gaius, can’t we drop the ‘dirty hippies’ meme? Some of us were quite clean.

  11. SkippyFlipjack says:

    ..and in the realist narrative peddled by those paying attention.

  12. nicho says:

    Why, has it gone? I’m pretty sure it’s still around. It has only disappeared in the corporatist narrative peddled by the corporatist media.

  13. an ows-er says:

    i am an OWS protester. currently, i’m involved in the strike debt project and am trying to coordinate placing an employee bill of rights of 10 ballet initiatives in florida’s next election (by having each right as a separately articulated initiative, we have a chance to win at least some rights, even if we can’t win them all)–unions were the first step, but it is time to move beyond unions.

    the above data describes my situation pretty accurately–i make $73,000 a year, i have 2 graduate degrees. i have $113,000 of outstanding student loan debt. i have $4,000 of credit card debit, and almost $40,000 in outstanding medical debt from an emergency hospitalization before I had insurance–i defaulted on this when i lost my job in 2011 and was unemployed for 8 months. it is now owned by the great satan of debt collectors NCO. i am an adult forced to live in my parent’s home due to this debt–i cannot afford serving my debt and affording my own home. our combined household income is $210,000. both my parent shave graduate degrees (my mother has two). my sister has a BA.

    no one should be surprised that OWS is peopled not with ignorant, lay-abouts, but with well-educated and well-informed individuals primarilay of the upper middle class, who are employed or have been employeed–OWS’s messaging and initiatives require a keen understanding of the real problems facing the majority of americans (and people all over the world), which are not even grasped by the ignorant and the ill-informed. throughout history, the peasants and those of the lowest socio-economic classes have been the least inclined to challenge the status-quo and the most rabid supporters of the very things that subjugate them. it has always been the upper middle class and the petit aristocracy that has advocated for more just societies. i believe this is because we fall into a nether world in which we experience both the brutality of social injustice (that the truly rich do not) and the benefit of social privilege (that the truly poor do not). and we are intelligent enough, and well-informed enough, to recognize that the only thing that separates us from either group, was the fortune (or misfortune) of having had the right parents.

  14. SkippyFlipjack says:

    Are they going to do a follow-up study on where Occupy went?

  15. perljammer says:

    “based largely on a sample of protesters interviewed during a mass May Day rally last year”

    So, take a survey at a one-day event and apply the results to protests extending over multiple weeks? I think I recognize that smell from childhood summers on my grandparents’ farm.

  16. UncleBucky says:

    Is the Santorum pup STILL attending The Citadel? And, what is his academic progress? Gee, I hope he doesn’t major in war….

  17. UncleBucky says:

    We ARE [still] educated. :D

    It’s the Tea Babbluers that have a problem with education. Like, they hated math, history, civics, English, spelling and science classes. Yep.

    That leaves shop class, football and basketball, huh?

  18. olandp says:

    Rick Santorum said that sending your children to college made you a snob. He later bragged at the Republican convention that his oldest son was attending The Citadel. I guess that makes him a super snob, as well as a jackass.

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