Watching the activities of Occupy Wall Street is quite like watching the history of the Tea Party played at high speed.
Both movements started out grass-roots, comprised of a diverse range of ideologies. Both are spurred by the excesses of the collusion between the banking system and the government and the abuses contained therein, and therefore have appeal to libertarians. Both started under presidents that it is assumed the movements would support. Both were ignored by the media at first, until the country's political leadership decided it was time to co-opt the movement by sending in a stooge to claim to be in charge of and represent the movement. Both have a big name partisan speaking for the group, Michael Moore as the analogue to Sarah Palin. Both are being fully Astroturfed, with the Tea Party being taken over by theocons and Occupy Wall Street being taken over by unions.
Whereas this is working faster, Occupy Wall Street has already reached certain end conclusions that took the Tea Party years to achieve. Already leaders have appeared to present lists designed to discredit any participants who aren’t amenable to being steered in an appropriate direction. Given the two party paradigm, the effort is to shoehorn them into the Democratic Party.
Apparently the Tea Party proved to be a lesson for those in charge. It was ignored too completely, and became an actual movement before there was an opportunity to capture it and control it. Diligent work was required by Sarah Palin and Glen Beck in order to slowly co-opt the movement, and for a while there was a strong conflict between the "Sarah Palin faction" and the "Ron Paul faction" over control of the Tea Party. Even then the Tea Party did partially steer the 2010 mid-term elections, although they did “deliver the vote” as required by the Republican Party,
The Tea Party movement was ignored for one year, and it took two years to tame. Clearly the political elite do not want to go through that again. After ignoring the Occupy Wall Street movement for one week and determining that it is not going way, they moved in quickly to ensure that this movement doesn’t get away from them. Until then, the Democrats finally have their own Tea Party to go to.