Feb. 9, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Washington Struggles to Keep Occupiers Straight

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

"We're experienced organizers," said Flowers. "We wanted to create a structure." She added that her group sent Occupy Wall Street a letter of solidarity early on, and that activists from the October 2011 Movement are eager to work with that movement.

"We feel that we really share a common goal and vision and want to see a participatory democracy that benefits human needs," she said. "And we're trying to find ways to work together without stepping on their process."

The complicated relationship between the groups underscores the challenge that faces liberal organizers of all stripes, including labor leaders and even Democratic lawmakers who have sought to tap the energy of the Occupy Wall Street movement and its offshoots.

"I don't have a problem with them endorsing and embracing our message," said Taylor, of recent labor union endorsements. "But we are aware of being co-opted. And of course, we don't want that to happen, because we're trying to build broad consensus."

Whoever is organizing them, the groups are on the same schedule. Asked when the October 2011 Movement planned to leave Freedom Plaza, Flowers said: "We're not sure. It depends on how long the people that are here feel we need to be here."

Similarly, Taylor said the Occupy DC campout has no end date: "The whole point of occupying a space is not to leave it."

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