Emily Anne Epstein
Occupy Wall Street is leaping back into the spotlight with a new day of action scheduled for tomorrow, Feb. 29.
A coordinated effort across 70 cities, Occupy Wall Street will target corporations involved with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Occupiers say that mega-companies like ExxonMobil, Bank of America, BP, Monsanto, Pfizer, and Wal-Mart use ALEC to buy off legislators and craft legislation that puts corporate profit over the well-being of ordinary people.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Occupiers will hold a teach-in at Bryant Park with Matt Taibbi, an award-winning journalist and author.
Taibbi is well-known for his July 2009 Rolling Stone article "The Great American Bubble Machine" in which he described Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
After Taibbi’s teach in, Occupiers will march from Bryant Park at noon and conduct “creative actions” targeting Bank of America, Pfizer, and Koch Brothers.
News of the anti-corporate day of action came at the same time of a massive cash injection from wealthy Occupiers.
Thanks to the Movement Resource Group, comprised of the two founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Nirvana's former manager Danny Goldberg, among others, Occupy Wall Street will be replenished with $300,000, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"Many of us have been working for progressive social change," Ben Cohen told the paper. "There's been a critical ingredient missing."
The Movement Resource Group’s (MRG) goal is to raise $1.8 million and distribute the funds to various protester-lead actions.
With the approval of MRG and five OWS members, the plan is to give out $25,000 national grants to other Occupations, pay for a $150,000 national office in New York, give out $100,000 to pay for individual projects, and a smaller, undisclosed sum will be set aside for stipends for "core activists."
“Stand with Occupy” today
In addition to tomorrow’s activities, Occupiers are also convening in Union Square today at 4pm.
Supporters of the Occupy Movement, including the Rev. Stephen Phelps, Senior Minister at Riverside Church, civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel and musician Peter Yarrow, of 1960s folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary will call for a “mass action against the suppression of the Occupy Movement.”
The rally is in response to the dismantling of Occupy London last night, as well as the long list of evictions of Occupations, including Zuccotti Park.