Would You Send Occupy Wall Street Protesters a Pizza?

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By Kirsten Salyer

On the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers: hundreds of protesters converging on New York’s financial district, dozens arrested, at least 16 U.S. cities with protests planned, one concert featuring Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine.

There are, however, other ways to measure the impact of this “roving carnival”: how much money the movement is raising and where it's going.

While the Alliance for Global Justice donation page and other related donation sites are user-friendly, the movement’s New York City General Assembly accounting working group’s records are less so. The last meeting notes posted to the site are from March 31. According to the group’s “General Standard Operating Procedures,” published April 8, updates to its donations and expenditures would be made public. Yet both links now return the message, “This site has been archived or suspended.”

Watching the tweets, images and videos stream in, I want to believe that OWS has the potential to help narrow inequality in the U.S. I don’t want to make an e-donation or order the protesters a pizza.

If the goal of today’s protests is to increase awareness and re-energize its protesters, the movement seems to be achieving that. But if the goal is to push OWS forward, and elevate the conversation into action that results in lasting change, the actions of the last few months don’t look too promising.

(Kirsten Salyer is the social media editor for Bloomberg View. Follow her on Twitter.)

Read more breaking commentary from Bloomberg View at the Ticker.

-0- Sep/17/2012 18:48 GMT