Occupy Wall Street protesters plan to demonstrate on Long Island, in New York City and across the country Wednesday to oppose powerful corporations even as group leaders decide whether to accept donations from those that have offered support.
Protesters will gather Wednesday morning at Bryant Park in Manhattan. Afternoon demonstrations will be held outside Bank of America and Koch Industries offices nearby, said leaders of Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan. Demonstrations are also planned in Huntington and Shirley, as well as Oakland, Calif., Las Vegas and nearly 70 other cities nationwide, according to a group website.
The group's latest efforts got a head start early Tuesday night, with dozens of protesters rallying in Union Square to highlight allegations of police abuse and destruction of encampments across the country.
Several protesters, meanwhile, are coming out against the nonprofit Movement Resources Group, which is led by Ben & Jerry's two co-founders. The group wants to donate more than $1 million to Occupy Wall Street-related activities, but not give cash outright. They have already raised at least $300,000.
They met with Occupy Wall Street members Sunday to discuss their plan to begin accepting proposals for Occupy events and infrastructure needs that may be sponsored by the group. The meeting was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Shane Patrick, an Occupy Wall Street spokesman, said some protesters felt the Ben & Jerry's group "could be dangerous" because the power to accept or veto proposals would be up to the board's members, many of whom are corporate executives.
"The notion that a small handful of millionaires can step into this smorgasbord of a movement and even with the best of intentions try to dictate outcomes is completely incongruous with the ethos and the spirit of [Occupy Wall Street]," he said.
Officials with Ben & Jerry's and the Movement Resource Group could not be reached Tuesday.
Ravi Ahmad, a protester who was at Sunday's meeting, said several who attended were opposed to the group's proposal.
"They're very clear they don't want the Occupy Wall Street community to decide who gets this money," Ahmad said. The Movement Resource Group is "so tied to this corporate way of thinking. . . . We don't want corporate sponsors."
With Isabel Castro