Posted 6 years ago on Oct. 17, 2011, 7:49 a.m. EST by Flipp
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The Wall Street protesters have amassed a $230,000 war chest and a warehouse full of supplies for their long-haul campaign.
And the money continues to pour in -- through online donations, money orders and about $1,000 a day dropped in a plastic jug and paint buckets in Zuccotti Park.
Occupy Wall Street has also been flooded with goods -- everything from peanut butter to tampons -- at a rate of about 100-400 new packages a day that has overwhelmed the local UPS branch.
Most of the supplies are being stashed in a United Federation of Teachers storage facility near the park. SPECIAL DELIVERY: Occupy Wall Street leaders deal yesterday with some of the many packages sent by supporters, containing food and supplies for the coming cold weather. Riyad Hasan SPECIAL DELIVERY: Occupy Wall Street leaders deal yesterday with some of the many packages sent by supporters, containing food and supplies for the coming cold weather.
They include so-called “jail support kits,” which include a blanket, granola bar and sanitary wipes to give to people as they get out of the slammer.
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The movement’s CFO is a 21-year-old art student at Cooper Union with no financial experience -- though it’s unclear how Victoria Sobel wound up with the lofty post.
But she has plenty of help with money matters, as any expenditure greater than $100 requires a vote by the hundreds who gather for daily “general assembly.”
The spending decisions occur during rituals called “temperature checks” -- where raised hands mean “yes” and hands pointed down signal “no.”
General assembly is not quick to part with the dough, though.
A proposal last week to buy $2,250 worth of MetroCard swipes so protesters could get to yesterday’s Times Square rally got the thumbs down.
Another plan by the arts and culture committee to spend $1,750 on paint, wire and tape to create giant puppets -- including one of a Wall Street bull -- was debated for close to an hour.
Questions were raised about whether buying the material was a prudent use of resources.
The consensus? Spend $500 and seek online donations for the rest of the goods.
Occupy Wall Street has raised about $229,500 in three funds, according to the group’s Web site.
One $4,500 fund for administrative costs including cellphones and travel is closed because the site says it has enough cash.
About $75,000 has been raised through the buckets in Zuccotti Park since the occupation began on Sept. 17, the New York Observer reported.
Activist Michael Moore kicked in $1,000 and an anonymous donor gave $5,000 to the cause, according to the paper.
But hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons’ cash was oddly declined by the Occupy Wall Street group at a recent general assembly.
The piles of money, meanwhile, are not being stuffed in the Zuccotti tents.
Despite the group’s harsh stance on banks, they still take their cash to two of them -- the Lower East Side People’s Credit Union and an Amalgamated Bank branch near the park.
Amalgamated, a union-owned bank, offered to waive all fees and service charges, said Ed Meedham, a member of Occupy Wall Street’s media outreach group.
Meedham said none of the donated money has gone toward legal fees for arrested protesters.
Donated goods have deluged the UPS store on Fulton Street, where the group is paying just $40 a month for a small mailbox even though the intake demands a space that costs approximately $500.
The boxes contain jars of peanut butter, boxes of cereal, tampons, soap, batteries, energy bars and supplies for the coming colder weather, including sweatshirts and blankets.
Donors have sent peppers from their garden and brownies, often with supportive notes attached.
The store asked the group to pay more for the space, leading to a lengthy debate over alternative solutions.
The corporate office refuses to grant a price exemption.
Also, some of the OWS protesters are looking for a place to sleep away from the unwashed masses.
“The public-relations team is looking for an apartment in Manhattan’s Financial District with modest furnishings (like bunk beds) that can shelter/shower six-plus full-time activists,” according to the OWS Web site.