Tony Blair Criticizes Occupy Wall Street

Halah Touryalai
Tony Blair Criticizes Occupy Wall Street
DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 26JAN05 - Tony Blair, Prime...

This morning, roughly 12 miles from where thousands of Occupy Oakland protestors took to the streets former Prime Minister Tony Blair was questioning the entire Occupy Wall Street movement.

At Charles Schwab's conference for financial advisors today in San Francisco the former prime minister was asked about the recent protests that are centered around inequality and Wall Street's desire of putting profits before public interest.

“What I learned in my time as prime minister is that those that shout loudest don’t necessarily need to be heard the most," Blair told an audience of roughly 4,000.

About an equal number of protestors marched nearby in Oakland, Calif. as part of a daylong general strike called by Occupy Oakland.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the crowd plastered signs around the city reading Death to capitalism and Our streets, and blocked customers from using ATMs at downtown banks.

But Blair, who was the keynote speaker at this year's Schwab conference for its independent investment advisors, says those types of protests won't necessarily result in substantive change. He said his problem with "the Occupy Wall Street thing" is that "a protest is not the same as a policy. Someone who’s demonstrating will often make demands, but they don’t necessarily have answers.”

On the Eurozone mess, Blair said he still favors a united Europe. He said the countries would have to work even more closely together to come up with a long-term resolution. "There's a real danger that short-term politics gets in the way of the best long-term solutions for the future of our countries," he added.