Occupy Wall Street wasn’t spontaneous for those who still think it was. Unions were heavily over-represented and the participants were political activists with money and a good education.
From the CUNY Survey Report:
- Thirteen percent of occupiers were unemployed, 6% were retired, 4% were in school, and the rest were employed, 71% having professional jobs. A third make over $100,000 a year.
- Many do carry significant college debt. Alas, don’t we all.
- Almost half had participated in political events before their 18th birthday and 42% reported that they participated in 30 or more political protest events. Only six respondents reported that May 1 (Mayday, We Are One Commie rally) was their first political event.
- What the employed occupiers look like: a disproportionate number (32%) were in unions; 14% work in higher education, 8% in K-12, 13% art and entertainment, 8% blue collar, 7% profession staff in nonprofits or advocacy organizations (employees of MoveOn for example), 4% business and finance, 17% office staff, and 29% other professional.
- The groups are largely young white males.
- Obama was very popular with the group though some were disenchanted. A third were Democrats, many said they were Independent or Anarchists, there were a few Republicans and 20% were other.
Hardly a spontaneous, grass roots group.