Internet memes sprout around Occupy movement

November 23, 2011 - 4:15 PM
Occupy Pepper Spray

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif. Pike, the riot-clad police officer who pepper sprayed a row of peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters at a California university last week, is a retired U.S. Marine sergeant twice honored for his police work on campus. (AP Photo/The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Occupy movement has spawned not only global protests, but a number of Internet memes that take a much more playful approach to the mission of the so-called 99 percent.

The memes highlight the dual nature of the Internet to an American protest movement. Though the Internet is an essential tool for amplifying a message, it inevitably leads toward frivolity and parody.

Earlier this week, the University of California, Davis, police officer who casually swept a line of campus protesters with pepper spray became a viral sensation.

The officer's image has been superimposed onto countless other scenarios, including the Last Supper and "The Lord of the Rings."