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Obama, New Yorkers back Occupy Wall Street

Tuesday October 18, 2011 11:24:23 AM, Arun Kumar, IANS

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Washington: As the Occupy Wall Street movement against corporate greed turned one month-old, it won an apparent endorsement from the White House and the backing of New Yorkers alike.

The White House made a reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement's 99 percent slogan for the first time as President Barack Obama Monday embarked on a three-day bus tour to North Carolina and Virginia.

The tour would ensure "the interests of the 99 percent of Americans are well-represented on the tour", White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said Sunday.

The slogan references the notion, advanced by the protesters, that 99 percent of Americans are being exploited by the top one percent.

Meanwhile, the residents of New York City, where the movement was born Sep 17, overwhelmingly expressed approval for it, according to a Quinnipiac University poll out Monday.

Almost three to one - 67 percent to 23 percent - of those questioned say they agree with the views of the protesters who demonstrate daily near the city's financial nucleus of Wall Street.

Party identification is a strong predictor of attitudes toward the movement, the poll found. Democrats agree with the protesters by a staggering 81 percent to 11 percent margin, while independents back them by a less lopsided 58 percent to 30 percent. Republicans disagree with the protesters, 58 percent to 35 percent.

Majorities of Democrats, independents and Republicans alike said that protesters should be able to stay and demonstrate as long as they want.

A common criticism of Occupy Wall Street is that it lacks a cohesive message. But 72 percent of those questioned said they understand protesters' views "fairly well" or "very well".

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at






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