Occupy Wall Street begins two days of major demonstrations today as a group of wealthy backers announces their plan to pump $1.8 million into the movement. The Movement Resource Group, comprised of the two founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Nirvana's former manager Danny Goldberg, among others, is a not-for-profit 501c3 that has raised $300,000 and aims to distribute it to the protesters in a series of grants. "Many of us have been working for progressive social change," Ben Cohen told the Wall Street Journal. "There's been a critical ingredient missing."
Representatives from the group met with Occupy Wall Street members on Sunday, and announced the plan to approve national grants of up to $25,000 with the approval of MRG and five OWS members. $150,000 will pay for a national office in New York, another $100,000 will pay for individual, targeted projects, and a smaller, undisclosed sum will be set aside for stipends for "core activists."
Today's action is a rally in Union Square against police suppression of the movement. Rev. Stephen Phelps, civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, and musician Peter Yarrow will gather with activists in the north plaza of the park for a 5 p.m. rally before marching at 6 p.m.
Tomorrow, more than 70 cities will participate in efforts to "Shut Down Corporations." (If you have an issue with OWS attempting to shut down some corporations while taking money from others, get in line.)
Here in New York, demonstrations will begin at the Koch Industries building and the Pulitzer Fountain at 9 a.m., a march from Tudor City to Bryant Park at 10 a.m., and a Bank of America Teach-In with Rolling Stone reporter and "vampire squid"-coiner Matt Taibbi at 11 a.m. in Bryant Park. At noon, there will be an attempt to "shut down Bank of America branches, ending at B of A tower," which is right across the street from the park. More details are here and here.
#F29 specifically targets the American Legislative Exchange Council, a 501c3 group that counts legislators and corporations as members so they can draft legislation together that affirms "liberty." Sounds innocuous! Here's a video about ALEC that will answer all your questions.