NOW with Alex Wagner | May 21, 2012
>> the nato summit mapping out an exit strategy for the war in afghan, demonstrations are taking place outside. protesters planned a day long rally at boeing 's headquarters. yesterday, 45 people were arrested following an anti-war demonstration. we were talking during break whether this could be the resurgence of occupy in a sort of broad national sense, and everybody had different thoughts. joan, i want to get yours first. we know that the protest today is going to be centered around boeing . the boeing has received over $12 billion from the department of defense to produce war machines used to murder innocent civilians all over the world. other grievances they've discussed include climate change , income inequality , gay rights , women's rights and foreclosures.
>> there's not a lot to the disagree with in that list. obviously i share a lot of those values. the reasonable i don't know that this is going to represent a big new surge for occupy is that i feel as though the original goal, the original issue was income inequality . it came at a time that people were very upset and perceiving what had happened in terms of student debt, household debt , foreclosures and the message we are the 99% was incredibly unifying the fluee plur bus u numb and now people could get behind it. now as they've gotten somewhat more radical, i have to say the violence that broke out yesterday some of it was definitely provoked and egged on by the police. some of it wasn't. the violence in itself detracted in their message that lots of people watching tv only saw these clashes and didn't hear the critique and solutions. that's going to be problematicing.
>> part of the reason it's device i be, this is a radical message and the reason is by definition, they're protesting the democrats and the republicans. this is less a continuation of occupy and more a continuation of movements that go back to the anti-war marches, anti-globalizations demonstrations.
>> insofar as our light footprint doesn't look light if you're a yemeni or in many other countries this is a debate that isn't happening in the presidential campaign where the protesters might disagree. it is less mainstream.
>> wes, one of the things we talked about we've been talking about the optics of the protests and the messages. i thought the fact that the police were bringing out sound cannons, they're these reminders of the 1960 sz when you hear about that stuff. another reminder of the 1960s and '70s was veterans who were throwing their medals onto the ground and two of them were quoted as saying these are supposed to be for acts of her rowism. i don't feel like a hero. there's no honor in these wars. there's just shame which is a powerful message in this day and age.
>> it's a powerful message. i'm incredibly proud of my service. and proud of the men and women that i served with, but i also know that there is eight larger national frustration about these conflicts. so it is good to see that we are on a very real glide path at this point to coming up with a real sense of conclusion to what these conflicts will be and what the legacy are going to be.
>> the first time i'd seen veterans aligned with sort of the culture of civil disobedience that sprung up around occupy. perhaps it's because of the nato and the g-8. this is the first time you see a union of those two sort of schools that they've been involved in and in collusion in many cases. it really goes back to honestly the larger legacy of veterans inside this country. some of the leaders of the civil rights movements were veterans fighting in world war ii who said we're treated better overseas fighting than back in our own country. so the legacy of activism not just fighting overseas but when they come back home is something involved in the u.s. military lineage in our history.
>> it's hard for me not to imagine how big these crowds would be if mccain had been elected in 2008 and had followed the exact same policies it it would be huge. so this is when there's a democrat notice office, a lot of democrats don't feel like coming out and protesting even though these might be the samal issues they prosted under bush.
>> the administration's counter-terrorism policy in a lot of ways, it's the same policy as the bush administration . even things like the killing of al awlaki, the killing after american citizen and the precedent that sets and the fact that the left has been largely silent on that.
>> here's the thing. the veterans who fought and they came back, some of them ran for office. congressman charlie rangel fought in the korean war , came back, ran for office and now he's in congress. where are the people in the occupy movement who are going to take their protests from the streets to the halls of congress as an elected member of the u.s. house of representatives or the senate? if we're going to get from just a list of grievances and a list of disparate causes that people care about to the point where they become actually change in law, they're going to have to field some candidates. right now, unless i'm missing something, i don't know of an occupy candidate anywhere in these united states .
>> and certainly you don't see the democratic elected officials scared confident occupy movement the way some republican officials rshs scared of the tea party .
>> the way many republican officials are scared of the tea