A day after WANE-TV became the first local station in the …
Focus 15: Occupy vs. Tea Party
Updated: Thursday, 01 Mar 2012, 3:39 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012, 9:32 PM EST
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - WATCH THE ENTIRE DEBATE BY CLICKING THROUGH THE CLIPS IN THE VIDEO TAB.
A live event in Fort Wayne Wednesday night put local members of Occupy and the Tea Party face-to-face.
Moderator Mark Mellinger led the discussion on topics ranging from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to balancing safety and freedom to economic development.
Participant reaction about debate:
NewsChannel 15 talked with participants after the forum was over. Both Occupy Fort Wayne and Tea Party members say they were happy with the debate and even thanked NewsChannel 15 for hosting it.
The two groups learned they actually share some common ground. They say their goal was to learn what's bugging folks here in America. The two movements didn't agree on everything though. The big topic that got both sides going dealt with money. How much money should be put into the government and campaigns?
"Money should not decide who our candidates are. Money shouldn't decide what type of government we have. That should be left up to the voice of the people," Tea Party member Emery McClendon said.
"They want to take down government and keep big business in tact but then somehow bust big business and we feel like it's the people's responsibility to be that counterweight to both," Occupy Fort Wayne member Bob Haddad said.
Both Occupy and Tea Party hope this debate will spark conversation at the national level. By doing so they believe we can find solutions to the problems we face in the U.S.
Audience reaction about debate:
After hearing from both sides Wednesday night, people had their own opinions about the forum. With a variety of topics being talked about Wednesday, those on the receiving end of the forum have different opinions about the discussions.
"I really enjoyed the fact that they are making a forum available for these kind of issues, it was well organized," said Fort Wayne resident Sarah Clevenger.
For Michael Barnett, from Fort Wayne, the forum came up short when it came to both sides stating their point of views.
"I was a little disappointed in terms of how they presented their arguments, but then again, I thought the same thing with the Tea Party," he said.
Though Clevenger and Barnett couldnt' see eye to eye on the forum, from hearing the debate, they believe both sides have similar viewpoints and should explore those similarities together.
Many who came out said this was a positive outlet for people to come out and hear the true essence of these groups standpoint.
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