Could anyone co-opt Occupy Boston movement? - Metro US

Could anyone co-opt Occupy Boston movement?

While union support has helped the Occupy Boston movement grow, with a handful of labor groups throwing their weight behind them, experts say the recognition could also muddle the group’s message.

“If you really want a small protest to become a big movement you need bigger allies,” said professor Peter Ubertaccio, director of the Joseph Martin Institute for Law & Society at Stonehill College. “On the other hand … when you bring in larger organizations you add an element of hierarchy that can dilute the message.”

In just one week, Occupy Boston has garnered support from the Mass. Nurses Association, the Greater Boston Labor Council and even a thumbs up from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

But Ubertaccio said unions are known to raise money to go towards the political process.

“If a social movement wants to be against money in politics, then bringing into the fold groups well known for injecting money into politics, that can muddle the clarity of their message,” he said.

Occupy member Gunner Scott is open to teamwork and said the group “welcomes all to this grassroots spontaneous movement.”

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.

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