Occupy and Tea Party Members Meet in Minnesota

Published on Dissident Voice, by Michael Cavlan RN, April 28th, 2012.

April 11th there was an amazing event at the University Club in St  Paul, Minnesota. Occupy Minnesota sat down at a table and had a discussion with the Minnesota Tea Party.

Before we get into how it went, an explanation on how it transpired is in order. Members of the Minnesota Tea Party were attempting to contact the Occupy Minnesota Movement. However, since we had been booted out of the “People’s Plaza” outside of Minneapolis City Hall in December by the “liberal progressive” Minneapolis City Council, we had become difficult to locate. It must be noted here that this “progressive” City Council had passed Resolutions in support of Occupy — right before they initiated their crackdown on us.  

The Tea Party folks had tried to locate a number of individuals but without any luck. Since I had been quite public in organizing the Street Medics, including having my phone number in public, they then called me with a proposal — a debate between Occupy and The Tea Party regarding  the role of government. I quickly contacted my Occupy contacts, and we came up with three people ready, willing and able to participate.

Coleen Rowley, former FBI Whistleblower and Times 2002 Person of the Year; Scott Hargarten, who had organized the anti-ALEC Rally at the State Capitol; and myself. We agreed that we would all take the standard statement that depicts any true Occupy event. None of us spoke for Occupy.  Instead we all were individuals who worked within the Occupy Movement. After all there had been no GA to solidify our position nor to give us “authority” to speak on behalf of the Occupy Movement. We made this statement before we started to speak.

As a side note, the Tea Party folks had initially advertised my participation as being a US Senate candidate. I contacted them and told them to stop. I explained that I refused to speak at any Occupy events as a Senate candidate, as a matter of principle; that electoral politics should be kept separate from the Occupy Movement as a matter of policy. I told them that their continuation of this advertising was a deal breaker for my participation. They agreed and changed their fliers and Facebook site.

We arrived at the University Club in St Paul. Very nice and very elegant it must be noted. The debate had been sponsored by the Caux Round Table, a business group aligned with The Tea Party Movement.

We met our “opponents” who were Marianne Stebbins, the Minnesota Ron Paul coordinator; Walter Hudson of North Star Tea Party Patriots; and a gentleman whose name I cannot remember who was a Republican party official … (full long text).

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