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'Tea and Occupy' -- a discussion/debate between members of the two movements

LIVE VIDEO — Msnbc's Richard Lui moderates a live discussion with members of both the Occupy movement and Tea Party affiliated groups.

The Tea Party and Occupy movements have each generated considerable attention and helped shape the conversation heading into the 2012 presidential election. But seldom have the two sides engaged in a dialogue.

NBCPolitics.com aims to change that on Wednesday with a Web-only discussion between six members of the two movements – three Occupy protesters and three members of Tea Party affiliated groups. And we'd like you to participate.


The one-hour event, which will be live streamed on Wednesday from 4-5 p.m. ET, will be moderated by MSNBC TV’s Richard Lui. See below for an introduction to our panelists, all of whom are activists we’ve encountered in the course of reporting on the two movements.

 

Among other things, we’ll ask them about the issues most important to them, similarities and differences between the two movements and the impact they feel they are having on the political process.

Related story: Occupy 2012: Firmly disorganized, driven by dreams

We’d also like to involve you in the discussion and invite you to submit questions for our panelists in the comments area below, on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

Then check back on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET to watch the event live, or look for it after the fact on msnbc.com.

Here are our panelists, who will be participating from various locations via webcams:

From left to right, Sergio Ballesteros, Tim Weldon and Elli Whiteway.

‘Occupy’

Sergio Ballesteros, 30, from Los Angeles area. A high school teacher for four years, he is now pursuing his master’s degree in urban teaching at UCLA and working occasionally as a substitute teacher. He camped outside City Hall for about six weeks at the Occupy Los Angeles encampment and was among those arrested when police cleared the site on Nov. 30.

Tim Weldon, 35, of Poughquag, N.Y., left his part-time job helping the disabled to find work to take up “occupation” He helped kick start the working group think tank at OWS. He has a master’s degree and used to work in post-conflict reconstruction and development in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. He came home two years ago to find a job but could only find the part-time one.

Elli Whiteway, 21, a senior Christian ethics major at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., who is involved in the Occupy Nashville protest. Her interest in community, dialogue, ethics and social justice motivated her to seek out and support the local movement. Her parents are Tea Party supporters. 

From left to right, Monica Boyer, Chuck McNab and Sharon Snyder

Tea Party

Monica Boyer, 36 of Warsaw, Ind., works as a college secretary. Boyer founded a Tea Party-affiliated group named for her county, Kosciusko Silent No More, which has about 200 regular members. She also co-founded Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate, aimed at defeating longtime Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in the primaries next spring.

Chuck MacNab, 79, a retired airline captain from O’Fallon, Mo. He is a founder of K & N Patriots--named for the high traffic intersection of state supplemental roads K and N, where the group holds a rally and meeting every two weeks at a corner gas station. His main concern is that we have gone too far in the direction of big government, and have too many constraints on freedom. 

Sharon Snyder, 74, of Madison Heights, Mich., is a member of MODESCO and the Troy Area Tea Party Michigan, a Christian Tea Party affiliated group. She says she got involved in the movement on Income Tax Day in 2009 and ended up helping to organize a bus trip to Washington, D.C., for a Tea Party event.