Occupy MN is a thriving local business

Categories: Protest News
occupy mn big.jpg
These people have actual American money.
Occupy Minnesota, now approaching the three-week mark, has released its finances in the name of transparency. As it turns out, the protesters have actually pulled in a decent, five-figured amount -- certainly enough to keep a public protest rolling for a little while.

Occupy MN is also doing a very strange thing, which experts speculate is a good way to handle investments: They're spending a lot less than they take in. Now, if Occupy MN had just taught the rest of us how to do that, we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

According to yesterday's release, Occupy MN took in $12,481 in donation money in its first week. Of that, $5,750 was spent on expenses like food, tech equipment, sanitation and medical costs. At that rate of raising and spending, Occupy MN could be in this thing for the long haul.

Okay, wait -- now can we see a detailed explanation of what U.S. Bank's revenue and expenses look like? No? All right then, let's stick with the protesters for now.

Admittedly, Occupy MN's finances, as uploaded to GoogleDocs, are something of a simplified version, and perhaps not ready to be sent to the accountants. But, if it's accepted that the large numbers are correct, things look rather promising for a continued occupation.

occupy mn banks sign.jpg
Hey, could you teach the banks how to handle money?
According to their own figures, Occupy MN had more than $1,600 in start-up cash before they even started the protest. (This, also, could be a lesson to American businesses -- notice how they didn't begin the protest on credit, and assume they'd just find money later.) In each of the first two official days of the occupation at the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza, or the "People's Plaza," Occupy MN pulled in more than $2,000 in donations.

Donations tapered off a bit after that: On the seventh day of Occupy MN, the protesters only collected $488. Even still, with the minimalist spending the group reported, that money will last a while.

The largest expenses reported are for "Livestream: Equipment and Access," meaning internet costs, and "Sanitation/Biffs," a reference to the portable restrooms in use by the protesters. That cost rang up at $2,000 in the first week. But that's more than twice the amount the group spent on food, which is reported as only $900 -- for an entire week!

Not only do the Occupy MN protesters have their finances in order, but they're not even overeating like the rest of us. Nor are they  shoveling money out the door at an unsustainable rate.

Teach us your ways, Occupy MN, and we shall follow you into the cold autumn night.

Related:
Faces of Occupy MN Day 1 [SLIDESHOW]
Occupy MN and TakeAction Minnesota storms Wells Fargo [UPDATE]
Occupy MN: Protesters block streets outside Wells Fargo Center [VIDEO]


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26 comments
Officer
Officer

how about you pay back Hennepin County and Mpls the over a quarter million they have spent and we will see how much money they have.

minnesnapolis
minnesnapolis

Freedom of speech can be expensive sometimes, and you won't always agree with what the other person is saying.  Despite all this, in my opinion being able to have a voice is worth the price.

These people aren't trouble makers, they just have something to say and want to be noticed.  If there are security costs, that's just part of the price for freedom of speech.

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Mark Dayton's ex-wife Alida Messinger is giving her "Rockefeller" fortune away. Yes, sister to Jay Rockefeller, ex wife of Mark Dayton has already contributed millions to getting her very own governor. The Gov's Chief of Staff, TINA SMITH was placed there by her good friend Alida.Another New Yorker buying our elections! After 30 years of DFL control, the Republicans take control and Alida feels our Quality of Life is gone! Geesh louise! You've given millions to the DFL over the years and they controlled power. Look in a mirror.By the way, Obama has backed the loss of womans rights in Libya. Yep, shirea (sip) law has been enacted and men may now take 4 wifes. The oily Alida wants obama and klobuchar to be re-elected. Maybe we need to tax trust funds at 100% for the year.If you need money or a job get in contact with Alida, she wants to help.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

The $2,000 for livestream-related expenses is a bit troubling. I'm not sure how much good they get out of streaming random conversations and inaudible General Assemblies, especially because the livestream chat is full of nitwits and trolls. The livestream and attached chat function discourage physical participation (by allowing viewers to think they're involved by sitting at a computer), create false impressions (by deeming every moment viewable and potentially representative of the movement at large), and violate privacy by filming people who do not necessarily consent. Not to mention the creepy voyeurism. It's like watching Protest TV or something. Filming for security purposes is a great idea, like at rallies, sit-ins and marches, but does Occupy really need to spend $2,000 weekly to film and stream random interviews, "circles of love," and dead air? That money is better used creating fliers and other outreach communications, because focusing on online representation is essentially abandoning the urban poor who don't use social media sites and/or aren't already plugged into the Occupy media. I fully support the movement, but I think this hi-tech protest of the future is really leaving behind our physical neighborhoods and communities. The occupations, after all, are supposed to be about the people right? And I guarantee Livestream is making huge money off all the ad revenue, ads from corporations like cosmetics and cars that we should probably also be protesting. 

ludwigtr
ludwigtr

I think a lot of that cost is actually associated with a fee for just having livestream, as well as the 3g and 4g internet cards providing internet access to the participants.  And since it's already up and running, they might as well fill the dead air when they can and want.  They actually have a call out for some microphones so they can more easily get descent audio of the GA.  if you have a better option, or plan for that, you should maybe show up to one of the GA's and suggest it.  They are really quite open to new ideas.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

I'm considering it, though many people are so fascinated with the tele-visation of reality that I doubt it'll gain much traction. I'd really just like to know whether people think it's useful and cost-effective. What's your opinion?

ludwigtr
ludwigtr

Honestly.  I enjoy being able to join in when I'm sick at home and not able to make it down there.  It lets me get involved conveniently.  Also, I do understand your frustration with the trolls in the livestream chat, both for and against the occupation, but I have had a number of meaningful conversations with people in that chat, wondering what the whole thing is about.  Because I have been down there, I can help people get the idea of what it's like, and how it's being run, and what's going on.  I like to believe that I've either convinced some people to get down there myself, or at least helped them think about why it's happening.  We also figured out how to supply power over the chat, and did a call out for alternative power via the internet that was paid for and provided via the 4g cards they bought.  As a result, I found out they had some solar panels dropped off for them, and went down there and hooked them up for the guys.As for showing what's happening at 4am...yeah, that's a little much, they should be airing highlights from the day, or transcribing the GA and putting that up when they have nothing useful to show.

But that's just my opinion I guess.  I really recommend checking out the GA, it's amazing how many ideas are listened to, and you are actually given your fair shot and a voice, no matter what it is you want to say, as long as you're reasonable about it.

Grace17
Grace17

Mlps Police costs are approaching $150K. Not hating on protest, just want to be transparent about all of the costs involved. If Occupy MN wants to be at no cost to all, maybe they could donate to the City on MN for security considerations. TNSTAAFL.....

Jane Highwater
Jane Highwater

I have been on that very site on many occasions and have seen many more people gathering, with perhaps three cops and certainly no special video equipment like they have on the protestors.   I have seen people using sound projection regularly on those occassions as well.

 I will say, I was happy to see the police there protecting the protesters from a group of crazies who showed up with big posters of our presidents with a Hitler mustache and set up on the plaza.  Now, those guys were scary.

Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

I was so thrilled how people came together to get that **** taken down. I was there making signs around their sign! I went to work and came back their poster was taken down by 5pm and they haven't been back!

Does the County talk about how much water and money are being wasted on floodlights and the fact that they're STILL pressure-washing the corner of U.S. Bank! Literally it's been 7 days since we've been down there WTF. 

ludwigtr
ludwigtr

they're a peaceful protest, so far, the police haven't needed to be there, especially in the numbers they are.  They could easily scale back, and save a ton, but they don't.

Sparky
Sparky

Are they paying taxes on their cash flow and barter goods/services received?  I would think that would be a hallmark of any 'business'.   Mikes analogy generator is more than a bit screwed up this week.

ludwigtr
ludwigtr

they're paying sales tax on everything they purchase with it.  and the people that donated it paid payroll tax on it, and income tax on it.  you would like that taxed again?

Markie Dayton
Markie Dayton

Your assumption on payroll taxes isn't correct. If the ex wife of Dayton contributed money she receives as a "Rockefeller" oil barroness then she didn't pay payroll or income tax on it. Let them disclose all the contributors to their cause and we will see who is funding this riff-raft!

A, Friend
A, Friend

The people donating should be able to deduct th full value of their donations.

StateofReason
StateofReason

It would be more accurate to call them a non-profit organization.  They don't need to pay taxes on the charitable donations they receive.  

vitajex
vitajex

"Occupy MN is a thriving local business"

Ah-ha!  So what they need to do is stop referring to themselves as "protesters" and start calling themselves "job creators", and- BINGO!- FoxNews treats them like they are the Second Coming (of Reagan, that is!).

johnny
johnny

Still receiving 'government subsidy' in the form of not paying for the land they are squatting on, not paying for the police overtime, and not paying for damages and cleanup costs........

Bryn Anderson
Bryn Anderson

They are taxpayers like everyone else and have every right to be there.  The police aren't necessary due to the only violent occurrences at any of the protests were carried out by them to begin with.  There are no damages and people are cleaning their own areas they are even paying for portable toilets through donations, So shut the hell up your an idiot.

Officer
Officer

thought they were all unemployed and homeless??? how they paying taxes?

Chelsea
Chelsea

Wow are YOU misinformed "Officer"!  Many of them DO have jobs AND homes.  Either way, ALL people pay taxes since ALL people buy things and consequently pay at minimum, SALES taxes.

ludwigtr
ludwigtr

They pay for that land, each and every one of them.  So do I, and I support their cause.  I also pay for the police, and so do they.  You have a really difficult time figuring out what taxes do, don't you, johnny?

Nigelpeeps
Nigelpeeps

Unless I'm mistaken, they only pay for that land, police, etc. if they live in the county, correct? 

ludwigtr
ludwigtr

All the money they are getting, and spending, is being done in the county.  so all the sales tax is going to the county.

PepperLove
PepperLove

What damage costs are you referring to? And the "land they are squatting on" is public property. 

minnesnapolis
minnesnapolis

You can protest what ever it is you want to protest and your protest would receive the same 'subsidy'.  Isn't that great and fair?

It's a contract with our society you make when you choose to live here.  Paying for a 'net' of services to keep our society safe, clean, and afford us the opportunity to pursue our goals with relative ease.  If you don't want any of that, there's always Somalia.

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