Wall Street Journal, 15 October 2011
Say what you want about the assorted professionals, philosophers, bums, radicals, students and wage slaves comprising Occupy Wall Street, but they’ve managed to pull off the impossible. In the center of one of the world’s most expensive cities, a place where the average tourist family of four spends roughly $3,500 per visit, they’ve accomplished something even the guidebooks wouldn’t dare promise: New York living on less than $10 a day.
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In less than four weeks, Occupy Wall Street managed to erect what looks and functions like a cross between a high-tech folk festival and a Canadian logging camp. At least for now, there’s a lending library on one end and a man doling out cigarettes on the other. There are stations for first aid, phone charging and poster-making. There’s even a guy who walks around handing out, yes, free money.
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The whole operation runs on donations, of course. More than $5,000 in cash comes in every day through the park’s contribution boxes, and supplies flow in from around the country. Kim Heines, a Bensonhurst office manager volunteering on the storage committee, opened her composition notebook to display records of the morning’s 90-odd shipments: soap from Winnipeg; rain ponchos from Keller, Texas; sleeping bags from Indiana; gluten-free snack bars from Santa Monica.
Phi Beta Iota: This is a stellar piece of work, riveting detail, economy of words, just an utterly spectacular communication of the logistical essence of Occupy Wall Street.