Occupiers Trying To Astroturf the DNC Protests

Recently acquitted Occupier, Scottie Wingfield, leads the charge to recruit poor people to astroturf Occupy’s upcoming DNC protests. Clearly, the low turn out in Tampa is on the minds of the protesters gearing up for the DNC in Charlotte.

Scottie Wingfield
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Wingfield is one of the Occupiers I identified back in July as having won a slot in the DNC lottery under her individual name, likely in an attempt to mask her association with Occupy.

From the Charlotte Observer:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Protesters went door-to-door in a low-income west Charlotte neighborhood on Tuesday to face one of their biggest challenges: Convincing the poor to join street demonstrations meant to highlight their struggles.

For weeks, organizers have knocked on doors, visited African-American churches and chatted up bus riders in neighborhoods such as Grier Heights and Hidden Valley to recruit seemingly natural allies to join protests during the Democratic National Convention.

“We’re trying to build a movement,” said Scottie Wingfield, a member of Occupy Charlotte.

But if Tuesday’s recruiting trip were any indication, organizers face some barriers.

Walking up to an African-American woman outside of one townhouse, a white protester called out, “Hey, sister.”

“Sister?” she asked. “It’s ma’am to you.”

The protester apologized, and invited her to Sunday’s March on Wall Street South. When she said she couldn’t walk or stand for long, he invited her to a rally before the march.

One man said he was upset that President Barack Obama may stay in suburban Ballantyne when he visits Charlotte.

“The way the world is now, ain’t nobody helping us,” said Tommy Thomas, 19, a senior at West Mecklenburg High School. “No matter how many people vote, money conquers all. It’s a brainwash to the people, thinking their votes count.”


Further down this:

Cathy Schneider, an American University professor who studies protest movements, said the poor are often skeptical that politicians will pay attention to their demands. “There’s a depressive syndrome,” said Schneider.

She noted that neither Obama nor Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have made poverty a major theme during the campaign.

And some African-Americans hesitate to criticize the nation’s first black president, she said.

“It’s hard for African-American activists to say anything about Obama,” she said. “They find excuses. They say it’s the Republicans.”

How’s that Hope and Change workin’ out for ya?


About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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