Occupy Protests May Be Losing Steam, Funding
January 19, 2012 by Sam Rolley
Though the OWS protests have continued throughout the country, with protesters rallying outside the White House and on Capitol Hill earlier this week, donations for the movement are reportedly drying up.
According to CNN, the original OWS general assembly, which makes major decisions for the group, recently approved a partial spending freeze. Spending on housing, food and other items deemed crucial will reportedly continue.
“There’s been a lot of disagreement lately about how things have been spent,” said Pete Dutro, a member of Occupy Wall Street’s accounting working group. OWS has reportedly recently become much less frugal in its spending than it was at the beginning of the movement.
More than $800,000 has been donated to OWS, and the group reportedly has about $170,000 available to spend, according to the accounting working group. It also has more than $100,000 in the Alliance for Global Justice, a Washington-based nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status, and $100,000 set aside for bail in the event of member arrests.
Some people say that OWS’s eviction from Zuccotti Park gave the movement less attention from the media and, therefore, cut donations by making the protests less visible.
As funding dries up, OWS protesters in Los Angeles reached a sort of milestone for the protest movement: its first felony arrest. Sergio Ballesteros, 30, objected — in some fashion — to the arrest of another protester at a demonstration. Police then arrested Ballesteros and charged him with lynching, which is defined by California penal code as “taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer,” with “riot” defined as two or more people threatening violence or disturbing the peace.