Critics Question 'Occupy Wall Street' Movement

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For nearly three weeks, protesters calling themselves the "Occupy Wall Street" movement have demonstrated against what they say is corporate greed in America.

The protests began with a small number of college students in New York, and got bigger when police in Manhattan pepper sprayed a woman demonstrator.

Now, money and support are flowing in from large labor unions and other liberal activists across the country.

For most, it's easy to see that the demonstrators are against big corporations, big banks and the Federal Reserve. But what's less clear is what the protestors are standing for, other than a mass distribution of wealth.

Many of the demonstrations have taken place in college towns like Durham, N.C.

"I think that part of the problem is we just have a small percentage of people in the United States who own a majority of wealth," protestor Joslyn Brenton said. "And they also own the majority of power to make decisions that affect other people's lives."

One California congresswoman even compared the movement to the Arab Spring uprisings.

Forbes.com contributor and Competitive Enterprise Institute fellow Bill Frezza strongly disagrees.

"The 'Occupy Wall Street' crowd and their imitators is a media phenomenon. It's not a mass movement," he explained.

"It springs from the synergy between a cranky bunch of delusional leftists and the need to fill the news cycle with stories that fit the prevailing liberal narrative," he continued.

"I mean, comparing these protests to with the Arab Spring is an insult to the brave citizens who stood up to dictators' bullets," he said.

Still, the protesters say they're not going away any time soon.

"We're concerned, but everybody is trying to behave," said Los Angeles protestor Sarah McGovern. "I've even talked to police and they say we are going to be okay until December as long as we behave ourselves, and that's the goal."

*Originally aired on October 5, 2011.

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