After 26 days of protests in New York’s financial center, the Occupy Wall Street movement has raised over $150,000 in donations, according to Pete Dutro, a member of the protest’s financial arm.
This massive fundraising was made through donations via mail, two websites — occupywallst.org and nycga.cc — and in person to members of what the movement calls its “Finance Working Group.”
Separately, four days ago, “Occupy Wall Street Media” successfully raised over $75,000 worth of donation pledges to be used toward the protest’s official publication, The Occupy Wall Street Journal, according to the online funding platform Kickstarter.
In addition to overseeing fundraising, members of the Finance Working Group, distinguishable by their gold dollar sign armbands, are also charged with disbursing funds to the other groups within the movement. These groups, which range from more permanent teams like Security and Media, to temporary teams assigned to isolated tasks, become eligible for funding upon approval by the general assembly.
“It’s been chaotic,” Dutro told CNN. “It’s kind of like doing an office job inside of a mosh pit.”
The group is made up of 12 individuals, many of whom have backgrounds in business and finance. As money keeps pouring in, Dutro says, the group is scrambling to find additional qualified people to help with finances.
The team has had its hands full, Dutro explained. “As far as expenses so far, I think we’ve spent between $30,000 and $40,000.”
Who is Pete Dutro? Do you know? I don’t.
Has he ever been convicted of fraud or embezzlement? Does he have any experience at this sort of thing? Did anyone do a background check on him before putting him on the Finance Working Group? Is he the chairman of the group? If not, who is? Was he appointed, elected, or what?
I have the same questions for everyone on that committee. If I was going to give someone that kind of power over the money to my business or non-profit organization I would do a complete background investigation on them first.
I also want to know who has authority to make disbursements from the account. Where are the books? Who is keeping them and who has access to them? Will they be independently audited? Where is the money coming from?
What do you think?