Politics

Sen. Sanders praises Wall Street protests, tweets: #OccupyDC

Steven Nelson Associate Editor

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Twitter account has been abuzz with tweets of solidarity for the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York City. But on Saturday a new hashtag appeared there: “#OccupyDC.”

“Today, the top 6 financial institutions in the US have assets equal to more than 60% of our GDP. #OccupyWallStreet #OccupyDC,” the tweet stated.

Since Sept. 16 the account, managed by Sanders’ staff, has tweeted at least 38 times with the hashtag #OccupyWallStreet, but this was the first to make mention of “occupying” Washington, D.C. too. Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist.

Sanders communications director Michael Briggs told The Daily Caller that the senator has yet to issue a call for protests in D.C. similar to those in New York. “I can’t help you on that because he hasn’t said,” Briggs wrote in an email.

There have been a number of protesters arrested in New York, and many have complained of an overzealous police reaction. Efforts to create corresponding protests in cities across the country have been reported. A website promoting “#OccupyDC” has a “general assembly” scheduled for Saturday.

Along with Sanders’ account, Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin has also been tweeting the hashtag. “Get ready to #occupydc. Starting Oct.6. Inspired by #Occupywallstreet,” Benjamin tweeted. “Get ready to #occupydc on Oct6… Let’s get this revolution started!!!” she wrote in a separate tweet. The D.C. protests appear to be targeting K Street, a downtown thoroughfare synonymous with Washington lobbying.

On Friday’s edition of Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” on Current TV, Sanders bemoaned the lack of a coherent left in the country. “It’s been a very, very long time Keith, there’s no question about that,” Sanders said. “What I appreciate about what’s going on in New York City right now is that there is a spotlight being focused on Wall Street.”

Sanders has been a critic of Wall Street bailouts, income inequality and tax breaks for wealthier Americans. He is currently promoting “The Speech,” a book written about his nearly 9-hour December diatribe on the Senate floor against extending Bush-era tax cuts for the rich.

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