The Big Story Blog

Occupy MN changing minds? What our readers say

Posted at 2:50 PM on October 17, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Politics

With the Occupy Minnesota protests starting their second week and the conversation continuing to roll in social media about the "Occupy" movement in the U.S. and social protest around the globe, we wanted to find out if local protests are influencing the views of people in greater Minnesota.

So we asked folks in MPR News' Public Insight Network earlier today for some perspective.


We got about 20 responses during the day today and while it's not a scientific poll the Network gives us a chance to let our audience share their perspective.

Here are some of the things they told us today.

June Kallestad initially found the Occupy Minnesota message confusing. The Cloquet woman, though, says she support the movement, though she's not sure about its tactics.

They are making the point that the power brokers of the U.S. (the wealthiest 1%) should not be the sole decision-makers for those of us without the funds to buy political clout.

I think it's great that people are making their voice and opinion known. Big corporations and deep pockets have the biggest impact on how our country is run, but this is giving a voice to the rest of us. Whether or not it will make a difference.... I'm hopeful, but skeptical.

In Moorhead, where the "Occupy" movement now has a presence., Willard Hiebert applauded "the fact that people who are not multimillionaires are making their voices heard."

The idea of lowering taxes on the rich in order to create jobs has not worked at all in the last several years. Witness the fact that corporations are sitting on large bundles of cash and NOT creating jobs with it.

There has to be more emphasis on the "common good", and therefore sufficient tax revenue is necessary to support this.

The "less government is better" philosophy is not going to help us get there. It will make most of us have a poorer quality of life while the very wealthy isolate themselves more and more from the rest of society.

Like Hiebert, most of those who responded didn't feel like the protests had changed their views. Odds are if you for the protests before, you were for them today.

That applies, too, to folks who saw the movement from the start as basically a bunch of complaining slackers.

"To all you 'occupy Wall Street' types out there: If you want to live in a socialist country, move to a socialist country," wrote Timothy Fry of Baxter.

This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. By the way, if you ever do decide to take responsibility for your own lives, I would leave off my resume the part about being 'anti-business' or 'I went without bathing for socialism.'

Whether you're in greater Minnesota or in the Twin Cities, help us continue the conversation. Post something below or press the Insight button.

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About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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