ED RENDELL, the former Pennsylvania Governor and current Philadelphia Daily News sports columnist, is a visiting fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics this semester, and the IOP was scheduled a while back to do an evening-with him. But with public interest over the Occupy movement growing, the Kennedy School put together WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT: FROM FRUSTRATION TO OCCUPATION, a quick panel that also featured '60s organizer (and HKS lecturer) MARSHALL GANZ, Columbia Journalism School bigwig, poet, and '60s organizer TODD GITLIN, and VANESSA WILLIAMSON, co-author of a book about the Tea Party. A far greater percentage of the audience than of the panel had actually spent signiicant time at an Occupation -- Williamson has spent time at #OccupyBoston -- but that didn't stop anyone from speculating or projecting.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: OccupyBoston
Rendell is not alone -- especially and not surprisingly among Democratic politicians -- in wishing that some of the enthusiasm of Occupy would carry over to the ballot box. What Democratic politicians have been very slow to acknowledge is that many Occupiers are as sick of Democrats as they are with banks -- and are not enthusiastic about the possibilities of a two-party system they see as being hopelessly corrupted by corporate campaign contributions.
That said, the most telling moment of the forum isn't on their video or our audio -- seconds after the camera stopped rolling, a people's mic broke out and some kid in the balcony invited everyone to GA -- just a few stops away on the Red Line:
AUDIO: "We Are the 99 Percent: From Frustration to Occpation" at Harvard Institute of Politics, October 13, 2011 [mp3]