When I got off the train, there was a much larger crowd than I expected in front of me. But my feelings of solidarity quickly waned. As someone who's covered—and attended—many protests, I was dismayed to see all of the things that had soured me on protest in recent years.But in the end, the music swells and:
First, there were the far-left Fox News-bait folks, who threatened to overshadow hundreds of innocuous signs about job creation and fair taxation—and clever signs, like "Run with the People, Not the Bulls" and "I am Buffett's Secretary"—by unfurling banners like "Marx Was Right— Destroy Capitalism," passing out 9/11 truther fliers, or hoisting a disgusting, bloody faux-severed head of Lloyd Blankfein, as one guy did.
I thought about the drugged-out dude with the banjo: one of the crazy ones. And the dude with the upside-down flag and the one with the severed head and the anti-fracking obsessive and the people jonesing for a confrontation with the cops: all crazy ones. Crazy ones who sparked the first mass outpouring of left-wing activism in years, who have finally provided a visible counter to the free-market fanaticism of the tea party. Crazy ones who have reignited a conversation about class in America.