Will Donor Money Destroy Occupy Wall Street?

An emerging existential debate in the movement.


In recent weeks, a series of existential debates have erupted within the Occupy movement. Soul-searching discussions on violence vs. non-violence and leaders vs. leaderless and autonomy vs. consensus are happening everywhere… welcome signs that the core principles of phase two of Occupy are being hashed out organically. Now, a conversation is beginning in New York City with profound implications for the entire movement. Jeff Smith, a member of the Occupy Wall Street press team, explains the situation:

A crowd of about 100 gathered at the West Park Church on the Upper West Side Sunday for an open meeting dedicated to the unveiling of the newly re-named Movement Resource Group. The 501c3 is the latest incarnation of a group of wealthy donors who have been trying to plug into OWS for months…. Six months after OWS began and three months after the NYPD violently “cleaned” Zuccotti Park, there are a lot of occupiers struggling to make ends meet—especially those who are new to activism and are relying on the money coming through the New York City General Assembly, which has nearly run through its remaining funds. The protesters are hungry. And when these latest money men moved in, it felt like a two-way con. The rich people were trying to buy a piece of OWS on the cheap. Desperate protesters were there to see if they could get one over on the rich guys by taking their money without sacrificing anything of value, namely their values.

Read the entire article at The Daily Beast and weigh in below. Do you think Marisa Holmes, a founding Zuccotti, is right that accepting Ben & Jerry’s money will “destroy the very foundation of the movement”?