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Tea partiers and 99 percenters 

Street Smarts

The tea party and Occupy Wall Street movements both claim to speak for the people. Is anyone listening to either?

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John McCarthy of Pleasant Valley is a children's pastoral assistant

Share your thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement. It's kind of like the old days when the peasants got tired of being peasants, stormed the palace, and killed the royal family. People get tired of those having an easy time of it, giving them a hard time.

What, in your view, is the main thrust of this movement? The have-nots versus the haves.

Do you identify with the "We are the 99%" message? No. If they really represented 99 percent of the population, the streets would overflow with protest.

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Chiboola Malaambo of Long Beach, Calif., is a retired ER specialist

What's the main point behind Occupy Wall Street? That it's unfair for a tiny percentage of the population to prosper at the expense of the much larger percentage.

Will any change come of this movement? There'll be change. The question is when it'll occur. I view Occupy Wall Street as an evolutionary process, a step in a direction.

Do you feel like you're being screwed? I feel connected to everyone on the planet. If part of who I am is abusing another, I'm both abuser and abused. I'm accountable for abuse, and I suffer from it.

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Colleen K. Stiles of Cheyenne Mountain is an unemployed interior designer

How would you characterize Occupy Wall Street? It's targeting the wrong thing. It should be targeting policies of the Obama administration that have hurt business and driven unemployment to its present high rate, not Wall Street.

Do you identify at all with their slogan, "We are the 99%"? I would if their target was Obama.

Do you think you're being screwed? Not in the least. It's Obama's policies, not Wall Street, that have caused widespread unemployment, mine included.

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Christopher Curry of downtown is a business owner

Do you see parallels between Occupy Wall Street and the tea party? The tea party is far more unified by ideology. Occupy Wall Street is more a thing where everyone bounces their opinions off each other to achieve a self-moderated, middle-ground consensus.

Will any change come of this movement? It's changed me. I've learned that there isn't a simple, single answer to anything, and that other people have good opinions, too. I can retain my views and way of thinking and still accept what others think.

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