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Occupy DC protesters to "Occupy CPAC"


Conservatives are coming to Washington Thursday for their annual conference, but the folks at Occupy DC want to shake things up a bit for the convention goers.

The Occupy DC movement plans to protest the four-day Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in an attempt to "liberate discourse," the protestors said Tuesday.

"This event is another gathering of bigots, media mouthpieces, corrupt politicians, and their 1 percent elite puppet masters," the announcement said.

The annual conference is a chance for conservatives to gather to hear speeches from politicians and other influential members of their movement. Among those expected to speak are candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Former candidates Rick Perry, Herman Cain and are also scheduled to address the gathering.

In an interview with CBS News Political Hotsheet, Occupy DC media team member Justin Smith said no specific details of the demonstrations are set. However, they want to make clear that the movement will stand toe-to-toe with convention attendees all the way to November's election.

"We want to make sure that attendees of CPAC - those people who will ultimately do the work of the 1 percent - know that from the moment they get their marching orders, we'll be challenging them the whole way," Smith said.

CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said they are aware of Occupy DC's plan and called their tactics "unfortunate." Campbell added that the safety of CPAC's attendees is their chief concern.

"Our team is prepared and has a security plan in place," Campbell said.

Occupy organizers are upset about the scheduled CPAC debate "Taking Back Wall Street: The Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street," a discussion in which no representative of the Occupy Wall Street movement is scheduled to speak.

"It's remarkably telling that it's titled what it is because in fact we have a lot of common ground with the Tea Party," Smith said. "CPAC is trying to drive a wedge between" our two movements.

On Saturday, seven people were arrested as U.S. Park Police in riot gear tore down tents and drove out protesters who created permanent camps in DC's McPherson Square.

Smith hopes that by the conclusion of CPAC an "organic dialogue" will be established with Tea Partiers and others prepared to engage in common ground efforts.

"Maybe we could sit down like human beings and have a conversation about what's going on in the country," he said, "and look for solutions instead of having cartoon representations of our political viewpoints."

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