According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, the majority of Americans are aware of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests—which means that OWS has more name-recognition than the eight Republican presidential candidates. Eighty-two percent of Americans have heard of OWS, while only 53 percent of people in a recent Pew poll could name even one of the Republicans running for president. And it seems like more and more "big names" are throwing their weight behind the anti-greed protests everyday...including former Vice President Al Gore!
Gore wrote about the protests on his blog yesterday, praising a NYTimes editorial from Sunday for hitting the nail on the head that the protesters “are giving voice to a generation of lost opportunity.” Gore wrote:
From the economy to the climate crisis our leaders have pursued solutions that are not solving our problems, instead they propose policies that accomplish little. With democracy in crisis a true grassroots movement pointing out the flaws in our system is the first step in the right direction. Count me among those supporting and cheering on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll, a majority of people are either in support or undecided how they feel about OWS: 38 percent feel favorably toward it, 35 percent are undecided, and 24 percent are unfavorable. Ipsos research director Chris Jackson said the large number of people who were positive or undecided reflected the mood of the country: "People are just sort of angry. They aren't necessarily sure what they are angry about, and the protest captures that to a certain extent." Interestingly, Politico interpreted those poll numbers as "tepid" support for OWS, despite Jackson's enthusiasm.
By all indications, the OWS movement is spreading and engaging with more and more people: 70 demonstrators converged on the waterfront walkway outside the Goldman Sachs building in Downtown Jersey City last week. About 4,000 people have signaled their intention to occupy the London Stock Exchange starting on Saturday. More and more celebrities have flocked down to Zuccotti Park to peruse the protest.
And Rolling Stone political reporter Matt Taibbi has gone so far as to give not only his support, but also useful advice to protesters on "a short but powerful list of demands" to focus their protesting, including: break up the monopolies, no public money for private lobbying, and change the way the bankers get paid.