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Occupy Wall Street planning major protest on Wednesday

OWS in Union Square

OWS in Union Square Credit: Dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in Union Square on Tuesday evening (John Roca)

Occupy Wall Street protesters plan to demonstrate in the city and across the country Wednesday to oppose powerful corporations even as demonstrators decide whether to accept donations from those that have offered support.

Protesters will gather Wednesday morning at Bryant Park, and afternoon demonstrations will be held outside Bank of America and Koch Industries offices nearby. Demonstrations are also planned in Oakland, Calif. Las Vegas, Nev., and nearly 70 cities nationwide.

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 non-profit Movement Resource Group, which is led by Ben & Jerry’s two co-founders.

The group wants to donate more than $1 million to OWS-related activities, but not give cash outright. They have already raised at least $300,000.

They met with OWS 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, a press liaison for OWS, said some protesters felt the outside group “could be dangerous” since the power to accept or veto proposals would be up to the group’s board members, many of whom are corporate executives, and not the protesters themselves.

“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 [OWS],” 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, she said, is “so tied to this corporate way of thinking. “We don’t want corporate sponsors.”

With Isabel Castro


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