Detroit, Grand Circus Park — They call themselves the 99 Percenters, but the Occupy Detroit movement looks a lot more like One Percent of America. If that.
At Sunday’s noon general-assembly meeting in Detroit’s Grand Circus Park, only 100 people showed up — fewer than the 500 who attended Friday’s kickoff and well short of the thousands anticipated by organizers and their mainstream-media cheerleaders. In a metro area of 4 million people, this isn’t a movement so much as a gathering of the local hemp club.
With 60,000 Lions fans streaming through Grand Circus Park on the way to Ford Field (cue “evil corporation” chant), the protesters and their small tent city were a sideshow. There were tailgate parties bigger than this.
So insignificant is Occupy Detroit that, as of Sunday, not a single major politician has shown up to support them. No Senator Stabenow or Levin. Not even Detroit’s far-left congressman John Conyers. And while President Obama and Joe Biden shout out support for the movement from Washington, Obama came nowhere near the anti-corporate rally on Friday when he himself visited his corporate pals at GM (boo) in nearby Lake Orion to promote a U.S.-Korea free-trade deal (double boo).
It can’t be that lefty pols aren’t welcome — Occupiers are unabashed Democratic partisans and they are heavily supported by local UAW.
“We elected Barack Obama. We thought that was a moment,” shouted Yusef Shakur, a Detroit activist who led off today’s general assembly. “Let’s secure that moment!”
The movement’s class-warfare vibe is straight out of the Obama playbook. But its nakedly pro-socialist and anti-capitalist message will strike most Americans as toxic. “Don’t waste your paper on me, bro,” said one of the thousands of passing middle-class Lions fans as an Occupier tried to hand him a leaflet. “Welcome to Detroit.”