The Power of Protest: Todd Gitlin & Jesse LaGreca


The Common Good hosted author Todd Gitlin for a lunch discussion with about his new book Occupy Nation and how the protest movement has shaped the political landscape. One of the major leaders of the original movement, Jesse LaGreca, also joined the discussion and provided an insider’s perspective.

Todd Gitlin is a writer, sociologist, communications scholar, novelist, poet, who has become a prominent critic of the tactics and rhetoric of the Left as well as the Right. He emphasizes what he sees as the need in American politics to form coalitions between disparate movements, which must compromise ideological purity to gain and sustain power by working together within the two major political parties. He argues that the Republican party has managed to accomplish this with a coalition of what he calls two “major components – the low-tax, love-business, hate-government enthusiasts and the God-save-us moral crusaders” but that the Democratic Party has often been unable to accomplish a pragmatic coalition between its “roughly eight” constituencies.

Jesse LaGreca has worked as a freelance writer for the Daily Kos under the name MinistryOfTruth for the last three years and is one of their most frequent writers and commenters. He’s a member of various subgroups on the site, including their Anonymous forum, Environmental Foodies, and the Progressive Policy Zone. Mr. LaGreca was a major activist during the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and a frequent speaker on behalf of the movement. His introduction into mainstream media came when an unaired Fox News interview with Griff Jenkins was put on YouTube. In the clip, LaGreca spoke articulately and intelligently about the OWS movement and criticized Fox News for marginalizing the movement. He was named the face of “The Budding Stars of Occupy Wall Street,” according to the Atlantic Wire and was featured in various interviews from ABC’s This Week to The New York Observer.

Interested in attending future events?