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Grassroots vs. “Grassroots”: Americans Elect Orlando and Occupy Orlando

Item, September 27 2011: Americans Elect Chief Executive Officer Kahlil Byrd and Chief Operating Officer Elliot Ackerman travel to Orlando, Florida to personally recruit citizens to start a local branch movement. Three people sign up that day. None sign up since. The Americans Elect meetup for Orlando advertises 18 members for its chapter. Of those 18 “members”, 3 members are actually Americans Elect employees and 1 is the Americans Elect corporation itself.

Item, September 25, 2011: An “Occupy Orlando” Facebook page is created to organize the same community to protest for “the 99%” and against the domination of American society and politics by the corporate elite, “the 1%.” On October 5, Occupy Orlando holds a demonstration that draws 400 participants. By the morning of October 6, 3084 people have liked the Occupy Orlando page. 143 have liked the page in the last hour. An ongoing occupation by the 99% movement in Orlando, Florida is scheduled to begin on October 15.

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