Paid protesters, huge “grants,” battles over how to disburse collected funds and court actions over intellectual property have plagued the occupy movement in the past few days. The use of paid protesters to create the image of a large grass roots movements was thoroughly documented here in the Juice http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-protestors-hired-through-craigslist/ . Since that time, the Occupy Wall Street movement has acknowledged that they have collected more than $500,000 in donations THAT THEY HAVE DEPOSITED IN A BANK (the aptly named Amalgamated Bank). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/24/occupy-wall-street-money-donated-tension_n_1029377.html In addition, separate lawsuits have been filed to copyright the phrases “Occupy” and “we are the 99%.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2052960/Occupy-Wall-Street-Robert-Diane-Maresca-attempt-trademark-protest-name.html
Ironically, the Occupy movement is struggling to figure out how to spend its growing resources. The fights over financing are as varied as the protesters’ reasons for protesting. Should the library buy the cheapest tables available or more sturdy, durable ones? Should the funds be spent on infrastructure in Manhattan or to help Occupy movements across the U.S.? Should all the money be converted to an alternative currency like Bitcoin? Should individual groups be able to keep their own donations, or should they continue to funnel it to the communal war chest?
The “grassroots” Occupy movement now has over 30 standing committees including a newly formed “Finance Working Group” which has been charged with making recommendations about how to spend the money. Meanwhile, in the absence of any plan of any kind, donations are continually solicited and continue to further fill the group’s coffers. Only $66,000 has been spent so far leading to claims of some members of the movement that the money is being improperly hoarded.
Meanwhile, other individuals who participated in the early days of the Occupy protests are trying to individually cash in on the Occupy movement. Robert and Diane Maresca, from Long Island, New York, have filed a copyright lawsuit in the hope that, if successful, they can sell official Occupy Wall Street T-shirts and bags. ” If I didn’t buy it and use it someone else will,’ Mr. Maresca said in an interview with the Smoking Gun. The Marescas aren’t the only ones to have attempted to profit from the ‘Occupy’ movement, which has seen thousands of people across the globe protesting the greed of capitalism and banks. A Brooklyn man recently had filed a trademark application for ‘We Are The 99 per cent.’