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.