ALBANY, N.Y. — As the Occupy movement faces a stern test of wintry weather this weekend, the first financial report of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City has been released. It shows protesters have raised more than $454,000 and have spent slightly more than $50,000 in the movement’s first five weeks, a person close to the movement said Friday.
The financial report, given to The Associated Press by the person, was to be released Friday evening in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, where the protesters have an encampment. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the spreadsheet analysis hadn’t been released.
The demonstrators are providing reporters daily updates showing more than $500,000 has been donated, but this is the first fiscal report of the Occupy Wall Street movement and part of its move to provide greater transparency.
The loosely assembled group’s spreadsheet shows most of the spending is for food, clothing, laundry, medical supplies and treatment, Internet services, cameras and telephone and computer expenses. Park expenses including sanitation have cost more than $1,100, according to the report.
“These statements will be released regularly, and open meetings will be held by members of the general assembly to speak with finance,” the report states. “We’re small potatoes financially, but we’re going to make public all of what we do. This effort isn’t about money. We’ve received very little, even as we grow enormously around the world.”
The report includes:
• Income is broken down by $333,199 from total public donations and $121,237 from park donations.
• Comfort expenses totaled $20,407, the largest expense. That was spent on clothing, laundry and sleeping material costs.
• Communications expenses totaled $18,985, which includes “computer, WiFi hotspots, livestream cameras, supplies, telephone, video and audio expenses, associated with Media Working Group, LiveStream, and related.”
The Occupy Wall Street movement began Sept. 17 with a small group of activists and has swelled to include several thousand people at times, from many walks of life, inspiring similar demonstrations across the country. The protesters’ demands are amorphous, but they are united in blaming Wall Street and corporate interests for the economic pain they say all but the wealthiest Americans have endured since the financial meltdown.