When the gods dance...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

US lobbyists seek to end Occupy Wall Street via smear

US lobbyists seek to end Occupy Wall Street via smear

New York: A top US lobbying firm tied to the financial industry pitched a $850,000 plan to smear the Occupy Wall Street movement and discredit sympathetic politicians, MSNBC television reported.

A memo written on the letterhead of well-known Washington lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford urged the American Bankers Association (ABA), a client, to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and its political backers.

An Occupy Wall Street demonstrator holds up a sign during what protest organisers called a "Day of Action" in New York on 17 November. Reuters

Warning that the movement could lead to weakened support for Wall Street among both Democratic and Republican politicians, the four-page memo targeted specific states where the outcome of 2012 elections could have a major impact on the financial sector.

If Democrats make the OWS movement’s anti-capitalist message a centrepiece of their campaigns, “this would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street,” said the memo posted on MSNBC’s website yesterday.

“It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the centre of the bullseye.”

Occupy Wall Street has insisted it wants to remain independent.

The 60-day plan outlined in the memo proposed to conduct research and surveys on OWS and its supporters in order for Wall Street firms to be ready to respond to the movement with a coordinated media campaign.

The lobbyists also warned the ABA—who reportedly rejected the proposal—that President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and his fellow Democrats do not pose the greatest danger to Wall Street.

Rather, “the bigger concern should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies”.

It urged the ABA to take heed of OWS, which launched two months ago in the heart of New York’s financial district, where protesters camped and marched against social inequality, corporate greed and corruption, inspiring similar action in other US cities and overseas.


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