by Paul Bowers
The local Occupy movement has never really lived up to its name. Sure, there were those 99 hours in Brittlebank Park, but unless you're anti-river or anti-baseball stadium, that is not a particularly strategic or symbolic location. The real rallying point was Marion Square, but Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. and the Charleston police nipped that occupation in the bud on only its second night. To their credit, though, the occupiers have found other creative ways to raise their voices, from the weekly pot-luck dinners in Mall Park to the funeral procession for free speech down King Street. But their brightest moment in the spotlight has to have been the hell they raised during presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann's foreign policy speech onboard the U.S.S. Yorktown. "Mic check!" they shouted in unison. "This will only take a minute. We have a message for Mrs. Bachmann: You capitalize on dividing Americans, claiming that people that disagree with you are unpatriotic socialists, and you promote discrimination." They called her out for billing herself as a grassroots candidate while taking campaign money from the Americans For Prosperity super PAC. And for one shining minute, the whole country was listening. "Don't you love the First Amendment?" Bachmann asked once the ruckus had died down. Yes. Yes we do.
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