The Occupy Wall Street group in New York is running low on money and on pace to run out by the end of the month, raising questions about the future of the movement that sparked a wave of nationwide protests against economic injustice six months ago.
Donations to the group, which raised about $500,000 within weeks of setting up camp in a park near Wall Street on September 17, have slowed and with plans for an American Spring of protests it has set aside a remaining $90,000 into a fund established to bail arrested protesters out of jail.
A report by Occupy Wall Street’s accounting group for the week ending March 2 showed it had $44,828 in a general fund in addition to the bail fund and warned that “at our current rate of expenditure, we will be out of money in THREE WEEKS.”
The report – posted on the group’s website http:// http://www.nycga.net – showed $1,556 had been raised that week, while $14,942 had been spent on the group’s kitchen, street medics, New York City bus and subway passes, and printing costs.
Critics say the Occupy movement lacks demands and direction and has lost momentum. Occupy protest crowds in New York and other U.S. cities have tended to number in the hundreds rather than thousands, despite the group’s social media savvy.
“The success of the movement has never depended on money,” Occupy Wall Street spokesman Ed Needham said.
“Occupy Wall Street is about our abundant human resources – the creative talent, dedication and sweat equity of people here and elsewhere that have decided to stand up against a corrupt and unjust society run by a powerful elite few,” he said.
Since Occupy Wall Street began it has received more than $730,000 in donations, according to the accounting group. It has a fiscal sponsor, the Tucson-based Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ), which allows donations to be tax exempt.
Inspired by the pro-democracy Arab Spring and Spain’s “Indignados” movement, Occupy sparked a national debate about economic injustice and has influenced the political conversation leading up to the presidential election in November.
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