As "Occupy Wall Street" movement spread to many major cities in the United States and gained support from labor unions, several U.S. scholars predicted that the protest will have a long-term impact on policy makers and force them to take right steps.
Jean Cohen, political science professor at Columbia University, told Xinhua on Thursday that Occupy Wall Street was "a very, very important movement targeting both Wall Street and the government."
"I think the protests will continue and get larger. There is no need to worry about them not having leaders or being diverse in their demands and goals. These are not political parties seeking power, but social movements seeking influence," she said, adding that "the protest is not anti-government but for a responsible government."
Cohen noted that the goal of the protest is to break with the "disastrous" neo-liberal economic policy which has been "destroying" the nation's social fabric.
She believed that the protest will push policy makers to take some right steps such as massive investment in America's future, like in infrastructure, jobs, education, health care, innovative industries and so on.
John Dinges, a journalism professor at Columbia University, said the protest might help President Barack Obama's reelection campaign if he "listens and acts accordingly".
"The protest basically gives him a left flank so that he appears as a reasonable person defending the middle class in an efficient way," he said, adding that "this allows him to be in the middle, which has always been Obama' s approach to American politics."
Robert Y. Shapiro, a Columbia University professor in political science,echoed in an interview with Xinhua.
"It may make Obama appealing to moderate swing voters," he said.
If the protest expands further, it will "promote liberal policies and mobilize voters to the left of the Republican party," according to him.
"More and more citizens, members of the Congress, the administration and Wall Street itself, are getting the message, which can only be a good thing," Victor Navasky, a magazine journalism professor at Columbia University, said.