Last autumn when media commentators were making rather strained analogies between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movement, placing the former as the left-wing counterpart of the latter, I tried to counter a lot of the spin in the social media by pointing to more significant differences.
The Tea Party broke with government establishment, but did not break with corporate establishment, which meant it really did not break with government establishment. The Tea Party was just the latest surge of right-wing political operations with lineage to groups like the Moral Majority.
Occupy Wall Street seems connected in time more with the international reaction (starting with the Arab Spring) to finance industry abuses and the hardships they've caused through puppet governments. OWS has yet to play government off against business as a Tea Party counterpart might. Many of the occupiers have exercised civil disobedience against government and businesses alike. Unlike the Tea Party, OWS has generally been organizing alternative governance ("General Assemblies"), not rejecting government altogether like the Tea Party libertarians. In many parts of the country OWS has even tried to stage alternative government within municipal government meetings with "mic checks".
In spite of this defending of Occupy Wall Street against spin that they are the Tea Party counterpart, I am baffled that in our city, the group that has been loud and clear about working to change Metro government is the Nashville Tea Party, while the group that is making no effort whatsoever to change Metro government is Occupy Nashville.
UPDATE: As if on cue, Occupy Nashville releases its 2012 plans, exclusively focused on the State General Assembly. No plans to focus on Metro Council or the Metro School Board. They appear to be ceding Metro government to the Nashville Tea Party.