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Is OWS SOL?

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SLUM CIRCLE
DailyFeed
For a movement that is, at its core, anti-greed, Occupy Wall Street did a fairly impressive job raising money. In fact, as of last fall, the group was nudging its way toward the 1% with over $700,000 in its Amalgamated Bank and credit union accounts.

And, unlike the Tea Party, this was accomplished without any corporate-dominated front group muscle like FreedomWorks or Americans for Prosperity. There is no populist equivalent of the Koch Brothers or Dick Armey. As close as Warren Buffet comes, it’s still no cigar. And OWS certainly hasn’t reaped the benefit of his financial support.

This nearly quarter of a million dollars came in the grassroots way -- from individual donors across the country and the world who sympathized with the group’s income equality message. But now, that money is running out. By OWS finance committee estimates, less than $190,000 remains and few donations are coming in anymore.

But why? Has OWS exhausted its good will along with its cash?

Browsing through the comments on OWS’ own online donation page offers some evidence to that effect. A couple from Arkansas, who spent over $2,000 on donations on what they hoped would be an action-oriented campaign with tangible results, feels the movement “blew it” and will die “for lack of a plan, or a message.”

“My wife and I were big supporters of this in the beginning. We watched the live stream. We sent money. We sent food. We tried to get answers to important questions like, ‘What is the plan for November? What is the plan for the cold? And what is your message?’ We wanted to help, but our concerns were seen as criticism in the live stream chat, and we were both banned from the room by the so called moderators, as were many other people.”

Though the movement can certainly be credited with initiating a dialog among our citizens and political leaders, left-leaning supporters-turned-critics of the movement have been disappointed without a more palpable outcome. Meanwhile, other groups, deep in the shadow of OWS, have made a real dent toward institutional change like Bank Transfer Day -- which spurred hundreds of thousands of clients of Bank of America (BAC), Chase (JPM), Citi (C) and other Wall Street banks to close their accounts -- all with zero fanfare, media coverage or a financial support system.

If OWS is indeed on its way out, it may be leaving those with dreams of bridging the income gap in this country with little more than a $700,000 chat.
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