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  • Scribecast: What Really Motivates the 'Occupy' Protesters?

    “Occupy” protesters wear their movement’s leaderless decentralization on their collective sleeve. The attitude fits with a group that claims “democracy” as its chief political end. But it also makes ascertaining their conctete political objectives far more difficult, since, in theory, there can be no established political platform.

    Polling conducted at some of the Occupy tent cities offers a glimpse into the views of the protesters. But market research firm Frontier Lab decided to look a bit deeper into  what drives the protesters.

    Scribe sat down for an interview with Frontier Lab’s Anne Sorock to discuss the group’s findings, detailed in its report, “Short-Selling America.” The Frontier Lab report presents the most in-depth study of protesters’ motivations conducted to date.

    Listen to the interview with Anne Sorock on this week’s Scribecast

    Protesters generally fit into two groups, Sorock explained: communitarians and professionals. The former are driven by a sense of community. “While ‘social justice’ is the attribute of their presence at Occupy,” the report claims, “it was not the ends, but rather a means to an inflated sense of self and purpose in their own lives.” Most described feeling out of place in their daily lives, and finally finding a sense of community and purpose at the Occupy protests.

    Professionals seek different outcomes — prestige and attention, according to the report — but with similarly self-centered motivations. “They feel validated by the fame and attention that comes with the large numbers of sustained attendees at the protests,” the report explains.

    For both groups, then, protesting is an end in itself. Political change has not driven them to Zucotti Park or McPherson Square, according to Frontier, but rather more self-serving ends (whether or not they recognize it).

    Posted in Featured, Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Scribecast: What Really Motivates the 'Occupy' Protesters?

    1. Mike Freeman says:

      Not surprising, liberals have always placed a greater value on their sense of self-righteousness than anything else; the protesting, marching, ribbons and bumper stickers are all different means to the same end: showing how much better they are than the rest of us.

    2. Jeff, Illinois says:

      It seems to me that too much effort is being expended to find fault with the occupy movement. Isn't it obvious that our country is very broken and that the sentiments expressed reflect the general frustration with both the political system and corporate excesses?

      • Brian (FL) says:

        The answer to your question depends on defining and quantifying what "too much effort", "very broken", "general frustration", and "corporate excesses" mean. (Your use of those terms appears to be more ideological than factual.)

    3. Lloyd Scallan says:

      The point Ms. Sorock misses, or fails to either ask or doesn't mention in her interview, is the fact that so many in the "professionals" group are in fact professional anarchist that are "PAID" by the radical left and/or unions to lead what Rush calls "young skulls full of mush" that are ideologistical fools, so lost in our society they are rudderless, thus can be lead by someone that has sinister motorvations. Very much like what was Obama's job was, a "community organizer", which apparently made him imminaely qualified to become POTUS.

    4. Jim Bair says:

      I believe that at the core of this movement is a very well organized, well oiled, well funded machine that is being directed by a few to motivate those that you describe in your article. In my opinion, this entire thing bears investigation. Left to fester on its own this entire movement will continue to gain momentum by, again, attracting those people you speak of, and become more entrenched moving forward. They gain power from the positive statements made by no less than our President Obama and many in the Democrat Party. if these folks who are occupying private property or public spaces without proper permits, what is to stop them from occupying my home or yours? The Rule of Law must be applied. We must not allow people to hide behind a Constitution that they seemingly do not wish to follow, or at best, will only apply those portions that they believe support their cause and a document which they many not really believe in or support – the Constitution. We do not want a replay of the late 1960's with cities on fire and groups such as the Weathermen setting bombs in the streets. There are factions with this mob that would like to see that happen. It is important, I believe, that good people take notice and cause their elected officials to apply the rule of law so that mob rule does not prevail. Those involved in the movement should not be discounted as lost, leaderless, souls. There is strong organization at its core.

    5. rmgdonnow says:

      Odd that it wasn't mentioned that this "protest" fits right in with Obama's 2012 campaign and "redistribution of wealth" (except his and Michelle's). He has endorsed the trespassers and squatters and we can confidently expect "Occupy" to be back in full, probably augmented, force next year during the campaign season (in the warm months). And to imply that there are no sponsors and suppliers or leaders is pure nonsense. The big unions and even Soros are visible if you look for them, not to mention the other groups. That only "Communitarians" and "professionals" have been recruited/attracted is inane or naive. Did the expert reporters not notice the defecators, rapists, dope users and freeloaders, etc? And Jew haters?….. Of course, the mention of "social justice" (which most recognize as SOCIALIST justice") and apparent acceptance of it as a valid concept tends to display the political disposition of the writers and make the article of dubious value to the observant reader.

    6. Carla says:

      Yes, too much effort and too many broad lies have sprung up to dismiss the Occupy movement. None of them is very compelling because the system is radically broken and the public is righteously frustrated, angry. It's about jobs, not self agrandisement. Nobody sits out in the rain, eating cold food and sustaining police violence for prestige. Maybe some get a sense of relief to be able to protest government corruption, in lieu of sitting home wondering where the next job might appear and how many hundreds will apply for it ahead of you. And some will be homeless, out of which a third will be veterans. Shame on this article. It is very arrogant.

      • Brian (FL) says:

        I have found that some folks tend to overuse the term "broken", as an expression of frustration, or perhaps to plant a moral justification, about deconstructing the founding principles of this country.

    7. wesinthemidwest says:

      QWS is part of the world-wide Revolution movement, that is where
      they will end up within 2 years.

    8. Dan says:


      I have spent a good deal of time at the OWS protests, and I think I have some valuable insight.
      I spent a good deal of time with the piece that the Frontier Lab and Anne Sorock published, and I was not impressed. They interviewed 15 people, interviews lasting up to an hour, in NYC and chicago. Not 15 in each place, 15 overall. I think this "scientific study" they conducted is in fact very intelligent partisan writing, but should not inform you on what the movement is.

    9. Dan says:

      What I think about OWS- many of the organizers are these 'professionals' that are written about. That said, anybody can schedule an event or become a moderator, (moderating assemblies), in this way, there is no group that knows exactly what OWS is about. Marches go out on the same day in different directions protesting different things.

      The report also suggests that OWS protestors do not believe in American freedom the way "we" do. What nonsense. It is a "slippery-slope" argument to suggest that without giving corporations freedom with their money someone does not believe in "American freedom". A big part of the occupy movement is that corporations should actually pay the corporate tax, a tax that year after year the LARGEST corporations in the US do NOT pay. Look it up.

      • Bobbie says:

        if corporate tax is a tax that year after year is unpaid, aren't you admitting the incompetence and dereliction of the role of government? I mean if the government is going to favor corporations in avoiding tax payment then use corporations to expose unfavorably building resentment in America, isn't a good willed bunch to me and I don't have high standards. just standards period! truth isn't asking too much. It's harder to lie.

        I don't like how America is run today, where truth to many becomes unexpected and at no surprise come the lies! sorry, won't lower myself to accept that! I expect truth always and disappointed to see people running this country lower themselves to such covert, iniquitous treatment of the common good!

    10. Grey says:

      The people I know who support this crap on wall st movement are motivated by one thing only ,narcissism, and the need to feel connected to something important. Losers without any real purpose in life, desperate to be the center of attention at least once in their none productive untalented lives.

    11. Eugene says:

      We as Americans should support the right of each and every one us to express our opinions, have religious liberty etc. That being said , Each one us should feel the obligation to express the truth about a subject, no matter what. We should not supress the truth no matter what the personel cost. When we give an opinion it should be one we have fully investigated, so as to give the community who hears us the truth. We should all have enough conscience to want to speak only the truth. Manuipulation of any kind is to avioded.I myself will not comment on the OWS movement, since I don't have enough personal experience with them to be able to give accurate valuable and truthful description of the movement.

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