Cameras, commotion and saturation media coverage are attracting all sorts of hangers-on to Occupy Wall Street protests. Recent reports focused on two different kinds of people attracted by the crowds: a sizeable number of homeless people and vendors looking to cash in on the foot traffic. Seven different New York Times reporters scoured encampments across the nation and looking for homeless people. They found many, but came up with little hard data on how many protesters are actually homeless: "Some organizers estimated that as many as 30 percent of the people camping out in some cities were chronically homeless, a figure that seems impossible to verify." While showing up for camaraderie, a warm meal, and a chance to protest one's economic situation doesn't seem out of bounds from the movement's original principles, The Times did find some protesters who are not pleased with the developments. "It’s bad for most of us who came here to build a movement," Zuccotti Park protester Hero Vincent told the paper. "We didn’t come here to start a recovery institution."
Neither is the movement a T-shirt shop. Gloria Erani has attracted the ire of Zuccotti Park protesters for trying to selling her own "iOccupy" themed merchandise, according to the New York Daily News:
... OWS members want her out, saying she's exploiting their cause of stopping capitalistic exploitation.
"It's called predatory capitalism. She's using our movement to make money," said Christopher Guerra, 27, who sicced the computer hacker group Anonymous on Erani last week.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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