Four American professors, including Heather Gautney, a sociology professor at Fordham University in New York, were invited to Tehran to speak of the Occupy movement.
Two weeks before the conference, Iran's PressTV reported that in yet another "OWS" conference, "American religious activists said the OWS movement 'will redesign the world order.' Additionally, in a story about the conference in which the American professors spoke, PressTV had a story called, "Experts: Occupy Wall Street likely to topple US administration." The piece was criticized by Foxnews.com, which said, "But no one in the report, including the American professors, said any such thing." The report from PressTV has an interesting take on the OWS movement. Unfortunately, Americans who attend such conferences may be inadvertently adding to the misinformation and discontent toward the west by their mere presence.
Ms. Gautney is excited that the discourse in Iran is going from hating all Americans, to just hating the so-called "1%", as reported in foxnews.com. What a scary thought, that anyone would target ANY group of people. She is herself an OWS supporter and has lectured and even wrote articles about the movement.
In a piece for CNN, she writes, "Occupy's big idea is that today's capitalist system has become utterly incompatible with the requisites of democratic freedom." She continues to say that "These forces [deregulation, financialization and privatization] have effectively steamrolled over rights to what should be collective resources, and appropriated middle and lower class property at a level of ferocity that would shock even the Grinch." Clearly not a lover of capitalism, it would have been interesting to see how she and her colleagues portrayed the economic systems of the United States and Israel. In the Foxnews.com piece, Gautney stated that "Iranians were interested in the 'mechanisms' of the U.S. economic crisis, including debt and the housing market's collapse." Unfortunately, the names of the other professors who were invited to the conference were not available.