Swanson spoke with the Columbus Free Press on Saturday during the occupations in D.C. at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square. “It takes sacrifice but it’s very enjoyable. It takes discipline because we can be co-opted and misdirected, but I’m encouraged. We’re starting to have democratic decision-making (in the form of the people’s movement assemblies), and we’re making some pretty good decisions. So it’s a question of how many people come and join us.”

Swanson said some of the people who are joining the occupations are doing so because things have gotten worse economically and politically.

“Some of us have been trying to start this for 10 years. We’re starting it now with some extra energy---- not because the wars are getting worse, but because people are feeling it economically, and there are pros and cons to that. There are people who would be here but can’t afford to. But I think the net affect is good for activism, that things are getting worse economically for Americans. I don’t wish that to be the case but that seems to be what’s contributing here.”

Swanson said activists should work in our own cities and towns as well as at national events, when feasible.

“ People who can get here (D.C.) or to Wall Street should. And if you can’t stay here for weeks or months, you should do it at home and make the connection between the local actions and the national ones. That spreads the word very effectively,” Swanson said.

Amid some criticism about the people’s movement assemblies being tedious and taking up too much time, Swanson said the assemblies have enabled activists at the D.C. occupations to make better decisions, and to do a better job of taking responsibility for those decisions.

“Sometimes we come to the same conclusion we started with hours earlier, but not necessarily. And we come to it better informed and wiser, with more creative ideas thrown in. So, I’m 100 percent for it.”