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Occupy Seattle wants to disrupt visit of JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon

Associated Press
JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, left, and Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, leave the White House in Washington, after a meeting between chief executives and President Barack Obama in January 2010.

Occupy Seattle protestors have set their sights on a new target: The highest paid banker on Wall Street who will be visiting Seattle on Wednesday.

Banker Jamie Dimon will be the keynote speaker at the University of Washington’s “Business Leadership Celebration” and Occupy Seattle protesters are marshaling their forces to welcome him loudly.

Sage Wilson is one of the organizers of the upcoming rally and march protesting Dimon’s speech at the Sheraton Hotel on Wednesday.  

"He is the embodiment of Chase as the bank and big banks in general. He is the top 1% of the 1%. He made $20.8 million in 2010 making him the top paid banker in the county."

Wilson says Dimon’s visit is especially galling to anyone who lives in the state. Back in 2008 Dimon spearheaded JP Morgan Chase’s acquisition of Washington Mutual – the largest bank failure in history.

"This is a bank which is foreclosing on people. They’re charging EBT beneficiaries 85 cents a transaction, they laid off 3,400 people after they bought Washington Mutual. This is stuff that nobody in the 99% wants to see happening," said Wilson.

Invited months ago

JP Morgan Chase did not respond to requests for comment.

As for the Foster School of Business, officials say they did not anticipate the public’s outrage. The controversial banker was invited to participate in the fundraising event, about 18 months ago. Long before the birth of the Occupy movement.

However, Dimon has been the target of several Occupy Wall Street protests in recent weeks, including rallies outside his home. 

Activists will march from Westlake Park to the Sheraton Hotel Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 6pm.

Occupy around the nation

The LA Times reports  that the Occupy Wall Street movement is moving from its protesting phase into the much more difficult policy phase "of leveraging their influence to achieve concrete policy changes addressing their concerns."

Progressives and supporters of the movement hope that Occupy Wall Street will help give the political narrative a concrete form, rather than the continued abstract narrative of the movement's ideals.  Though the movement is "considerably more focused than their critics acknowledge," grass-roots movements such as Occupy "rarely achieve much until they're yoked to movements with specific goals and the wherewithal to achieve them."

Polls & Internet searches

The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to gain in popularity, as its own individual entity as well as in comparison too the Tea Party. A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that 44% of Americans agree with the views of the movement while 27% disagree. 46% of those polled believe that the Occupy movement represents the views of "most" Americans. When asked how they view the movement itself, not just its ideas behind it, 25% said they had a favorable impression. 

In terms of comparison to the Tea Party, Google's Politics & Elections blog examined web search trends related to the two movements. Google’s analysts found that search interest for Occupy Wall Street overtook that for the Tea Party as early as Sept. 24, before the protests had even spread nationwide or worldwide.

Peek interest came on Oct. 15, in light of the "global day of action" that sparked offshoots of the movement nationwide and worldwide. Though data showed that search-related interest has subsided since mid-October, but the numbers still overtake searches on the Tea Party, even at the height of Tea Party interest in 2009.

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