The Occupy Wall Street protesters in the US state of Iowa said on Tuesday that they would interrupt candidates at events and camp out at their Iowa campaign offices, saying they want to change the political dialogue.
Occupy activists in the Iowa’s capital city Des Moines have vowed to expand their demonstrations as GOP presidential hopefuls attend the Iowa caucus, a meeting in which Republican candidates speak in the race for the party’s presidential nomination.
Hundreds of Occupy activists from at least 10 states have planned to participate in a “People’s Caucus” near the Iowa Capitol to discuss issues and make plans for demonstrations at campaign events between late December and Januarys 3, when Republican candidates hold caucuses.
At the People’s Caucus, or the “Caucus of the 99%,” protesters from around the United States will split into groups to indicate which candidate’s campaign office they want to “occupy.”
Occupy activists, who came from as far away as New York and Seattle, say the caucuses are meaningless as the parties and candidates are overly influenced by the wealthy.
“The caucuses are really a statement as to where the nation is as a whole. I think this occupation is really a statement that they are dissatisfied with all the choices that we’ve been given,” said Ivan Burghart, an activist from St. Louis.
Organizers have encouraged activists living in Iowa to show up on caucus and vote “no preference” in order to show their protest.
The Iowa State Capitol is located in Des Moines and houses the Iowa Senate, Iowa House of Representatives, the Office of the Governor, and the Offices of the Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State.
The Occupy movement first began when a group of demonstrators gathered in New York’s financial district on September 17, 2011 to protest against the unjust distribution of wealth in the country and the excessive influence of big corporations on US policies.
Despite the police crackdown and the mass arrests, the Occupy movement has now spread to many major US cities as well as to other countries such as Australia, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, etc.