One of the founders of Occupy Wall Street says she wants President Obama to be removed from office and replaced by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
Justine Tunney, who began working for Google after the Occupy movement which she helped organize lost steam, issued a petition calling for the change, which she says will “prevent further American decline.”
Besides replacing Obama with Schmidt, a donor and former adviser to the president, Tunney calls for a national referendum to transfer power to the tech industry and to retire all federal employees with full pensions.
Tunney’s issue with Obama is that she thinks he has been an ineffective leader and prone to special interests. She told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview that she believes that technology companies are the solution.
“I think the guy works tremendously hard,” said Tunney over the phone. “He ultimately just fell in line with appeasing special interests, and a lot of the things he promised just turned out to be corporate handouts.”
Tunney believes that Obama catered to the insurance companies through Obamacare and to Wall Street through bailouts.
The solution, says Tunney, lies in Google and the technology industry as a whole.
“These people have a proven track record of doing really good amazing things,” said Tunney. “I see that the tech industry is having the most positive impact on improving the human condition.”
Tunney was one of the first organizers of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which was initially started as a response to the bailouts given to Wall Street banks. The banks, they believed, helped cause the mortgage crisis and recession.
A day after the magazine AdBusters issued a clarion call to “#occupywallstreet,” Tunney registered the domain name for OccupyWallSt.org, the most prominent Occupy movement site. As an organizer, Tunney operated the website, worked phone banks and set up a Twitter account.
But maintaining the Occupy movement, which was touted as a “leaderless movement,”,proved difficult, says Tunney. She said that one “influential progressive” offered her and the operators of the Occupy website $30,000 to take the word “revolution” off of its site.
Tunney created the website’s tagline, “The only solution is WorldRevolution.”
And then there was the Twitter account, @OccupyWallSt, which currently has 196,000 followers.
Tunney says she started the Twitter handle but that other users had tweeting privileges on it. But Tunney recently took the account over for herself and started taking shots at other Occupy figures like economist David Graeber. A BuzzFeed article noted that Tunney’s move alienated some within the movement.
“The law would consider it my private property,” said Tunney, while quickly adding that she was “not saying I believe in private property.”
Tunney’s criticism of Obama is not an attack from the right. She still calls herself an anarchist and a revolutionary.
“Obamacare is just a big handout to the insurance industry,” said Tunney. “Why wasn’t the insurance industry nationalized? There’s no purpose for it.”
Tunney, who began working at Google in 2012 at a time when she was couch-surfing and homeless, says she became a radical in part because of her work in the open course software community.
“The hierarchies emerge naturally, and as a meritocracy,” said Tunney of the open source community.
Tunney says she has complete confidence that tech titans like Schmidt will steer the ship in the right course.
“I’m sure if you just put them in a position of power, they’ll just figure it out and be able to, you know, make awesome stuff happen,” adding that it would “really be up to them” to implement their vision.
She says that her activism — both as an Occupy organizer and as a critic of current politicians — has not been a problem in her job even though Schmidt was a big donor and special adviser to Obama and a member of his Presidential transition team.
“It’s honestly never been an issue,” said Tunney.
Google did not immediately return TheDCNF’s request for comment.
“I don’t pretend that I have all the answers,” said Tunney. “I think we just need to start over.”
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