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American Dream Movement Announces November 17 “Rising Tide of Protest”

Add the American Dream Movement to the growing voice of dissent against the policies of Washington and Wall Street. In a press conference today at the Take Back the American Dream Conference, leaders in the movement, a coalition of dozens of progressive groups, announced a “rising tide of protest” starting on November 17, to match and support the #OccupyWallStreet protests that began on September 17.

“We have no faith that Washington DC and Wall Street can solve the problems of this country,” said Van Jones, who has been out front as the public face of the American Dream Movement coalition. “If you missed September 17, I know I underestimated it, you can join us November 17, for a rising tide of peaceful, non-violent, dignified protest.”

“Save your notes,” Jones concluded. “First draft of history.”

The Take Back the American Dream conference has aggressively incorporated the #OccupyWallStreet movement into their celebration of an awakening of the other 99%, including them in the opening plenary and praising them in speeches by leaders. The acknowledgement that protest must be a part of the movement for bank accountability and an end to Washington dysfunction moves past the usual comfort zone of progressive groups who try to find candidates and support individual policies. Multiple labor groups will be joining the #OccupyWallStreet protests on Wednesday, and have been strongly encouraging of their actions.

Full details of the November 17 movement were not yet available.

“You knew at some point there would be a pain threshold,” said Jones. “You knew at some point people would say enough is enough. You are going to continue to see the sleeping giant awaken.”

The American Dream Movement also announced more common progressive organization goals. They announced they would recruit 2,012 candidates up and down the ballot for 2012. And they said they would organize up to a million leaders in their next phase of operations. Yesterday dozens of individuals from various progressive and labor groups took a leadership role in the American Dream Movement. They introduced a Contract for the American Dream a while back, which includes a score of progressive ideas on the economy, investment, health care, ending wars and taxing Wall Street. The contract came out of almost 1,600 house meetings which involved 130,000 individuals putting together the platform.

But electoral politics is not their sole focus. Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future said “we will build a movement to drive our agenda into the political process, and tell politicians that they can either get in front of it or get run over by it.”

UPDATE: I got a little more clarification on the November 17 protests announced by the American Dream Movement. It’s a one-day protest across multiple cities across the country that organizers hope will be a massive activation of their supporters. As we get closer to November 17, there will be further details, Borosage said.

This is not an ongoing occupation and would exist parallel to the street movement inspired by the occupation of Wall Street.

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David Dayen

David Dayen