As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues in Zuccotti Park, donations continue to pour into the organization. However, local protestors and protestors in other cities are complaining about the disorganization and the proper management of the funds.
According to Occupy Wall Street's Finance Committee, the movement has amassed nearly $500,000 in donations. However, reports indicate that Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York have not shared their donations with protestors in other cities causing some tensions in the worldwide group as well as in Zuccotti Park.
What's the point of collecting money if you're not releasing it to the people you're trying to help, said Vernon Johnson, a volunteer at Occupy Philly, in an article written by Metro.
Since the protests began, the money has been pouring in from individual donations, who give an average of $50 each. So far, the organization has spent nearly $66,000 on computers, food, medical supplies and other provisions that the protestors need while they camp out in Zuccotti Park.
Most of the money is still in the bank, said Wylie Stecklow, the finance group's attorney, to Metro. However, this does not sit well with some protestors. Some local protestors are complaining that the money is not moving efficiently enough within the organization. For example, last week musical instruments were stolen and damaged in the park. The New York General Assembly chose not to replace them.
We've been an important part of this movement, said drummer John Eustor, in an article written by Metro. I'm done with the meetings. We've just stopped giving them our donations. Some of these musical groups have even threatened to leave Occupy Wall Street and form their own group.
Within the organization there are about 30 smaller groups. The loose confederation of these groups forms the New York General Assembly, which guides the movement and makes major decisions.
I hope Mayor Bloomberg gets an injunction and demands to see the movement's books. We need to know how much money we really have and where it's going, said Bryan Smith, a member of the Comfort Working Group, in an article written by the New York Post. The Comfort Working Group delegates the basic necessities of the protestors. They raise their money through individual donations on the streets. Recently, the New York General Assembly had given a daily allowance to the Comfort Working Group of only $150, much to the chagrin of Smith.
What can I do with $150? We have three tons of wet laundry here from the rainstorm. How do I get that done? We need winter gear, shoes, socks, said Smith. I could spend $10,000 alone for backpacks people need. We raise all this money. Where is it?
The Finance Committee defended its position in the New York Post. A representative said it is difficult to make big purchases like the one Smith suggested at this time.
We don't have the power for that. They have to go to the General Assembly, said Pete Dutro. If it's approved, we pay out that amount and make sure everything is accounted for.
The Finance Committee had stated they will release a detailed report of the group's earnings in the next few days.