NEW YORK — After a month of bashing banks and other corporations, the Occupy Wall Street movement has had to become a money manager itself.
It has $435,000, most of it from online credit card donations, but $85,000 of it has been donated in person at the Manhattan park that has become the epicenter of the global “anti-greed” protests, said Darrell Prince, an activist using his business background to keep track of the daily donations.
Handling the money, and figuring out what to do with it, could prove to be one of the biggest challenges for a movement united by anger more than by strategy, and devoted to building consensus among activists with wide-ranging goals.
The protesters have been spending about $1,500 a day on food, and also just covered a $2,000 laundry bill for sleeping bags, jackets and sweaters. They have spent about $20,000 on equipment such as laptops and cameras, and costs associated with streaming video of the protest on the Internet.
And they don’t just have money donations. They have a mountain of donated goods, from blankets to cans of food to swim goggles to protect them from pepper spray.
Though the money is a pittance compared to the profits of many corporations that the activists blame for the nation’s financial woes, it’s growing. Roughly $8,000 is now coming in every day just from the lock boxes set up to take donations at Zuccotti Park, Prince said.
Some of the latest developments in the Occupy protests taking place in cities across the world:
NEW YORK: The Rev. Jesse Jackson met with protesters in Zuccotti Park for the second day in a row Tuesday. Protesters said he helped them prevent police from removing tents that violated park rules on Monday evening.
NORTH KOREA: The movement shows that people are fed up with capitalism's ills, according to reclusive North Korea, which attributes the protests to the 'extremely acute socio-class contradictions' created after the global financial crisis in 2007.
RHODE ISLAND: Demonstrators in Providence are urging activists to form small support groups to help one another in case police seek to break up their encampment at Burnside Park, for which they don't have a permit.