Occupy Wall Street spontaneously raises more than $450,000
As the temperatures dropped just ahead of a big snowstorm, members of Occupy Wall Street’s finance committee announced to hundreds of people the total donated in the first month of the protest, which started in mid-September.
The Occupy Wall Street movement didn’t set up to become a big fund-raising operation, but it has already spontaneously attracted $454,000 in cash from some 8,000 online donors and other supporters to finance the protest in Zuccotti Park.
Many other contributors are providing food, clothes, blankets, and other items. So much has been flowing in that organizers have started to send money, goods, and financial advice to “Occupy” protesters in other cities.
Robert Christ, an information-technology developer who helps manage Occupy Wall Street’s finances, announced the financial tally and the plans for handling the money. He said the group was releasing its financial details as “part of our hope that we can be transparent and accessible.” He pledged that “our statements will be released regularly, and we want to hold open meetings.”
Most of the donations average about $50, Mr. Christ said. Protest organizers have made no formal appeals for money.
Occupy Wall Street is too young and informal to have received nonprofit status, so some of its donations are collected by the Alliance for Global Justice, a charity that has a long history of serving as a fiscal sponsor of progressive grass-roots groups.
Speaking under a hail of sleet and snow, Karim Walker said he was satisfied with the process for allocating donations that Occupy Wall Street has established. “I’d rather trust these people here than the people on Wall Street to handle the money,” Mr. Walker says.