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Occupy Wall Street, Act II: Go local

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The question is whether Occupy forces are scattering their fire in so many directions that the movement will inevitably fragment and dissolve, or whether they will grow in strength and accomplishments by proving former House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill's famous pronouncement that, in the end, "all politics is local."

Until lately, the movement has been largely about occupying ground in the name of the 99 percent – and trying to hold that ground in the face of city and police intervention. Since Sept. 17, when the first Occupiers settled in on Wall Street in New York, thousands of protesters have been arrested in cities across the United States (usually for refusing to obey police orders or for resisting arrest). The Occupy movement has been a way for people to rise up and vent their frustrations, but critics fault it for being unwilling or unable to devise a national action plan around something concrete, such as backing the Democrats' push to raise taxes on millionaires or proposing a constitutional amendment to limit special-interest money in political campaigns.

But that is as it should be, say those involved with the movement as well as its close observers.

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