Aged Hippies Helping Struggling Hipsters – How Can That Be Bad?

Posted on February 29, 2012


When the Occupy Wall Street movement rolled into town last fall, I was intrigued.  I don’t like how members of the 1% are able to turn their money into more money and I sure as hell don’t like executive compensation practices. The protesters had my attention and morale support.

Occupy Wall Street by DoctorTongs

Not to anyone’s real surprise, the tent cities didn’t last. The police had to remove the protesters from public parks and the movement began to lose steam (or at least visibility). Not only did the disassembly of the tent cities hurt OWS’ momentum, but the rest of us not sleeping in parks were starting to get agitated that the fundamental message was still all over the place.  As the New Year came and went, I doubted OWS’ ability to make it through another year.

Today, I saw a WSJ article that gave me hope for the movement’s survival; Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s fame have formed a coalition of progressive 1-percenters that want to help OWS achieve some stability and make real progress.  They’re calling themselves the Movement Resource Group with a goal of raising $1.8 million (as of Monday, they’ve raised about $300,000).  They want to provide office space and grants to OWS projects around the country.

The caveat is that a “Board” – and who likes those – will review applications and decide where to send the money.

Shane Patrick of the OWS press team was quoted in amNew York as saying: “The notion that a small handful of millionaires can step into this smorgasbord of a movement and — even with the best of intentions — try to dictate outcomes is completely incongruous with the ethos and the spirit of [OWS].”

I get it.  Having a “Board” of rich people decide where to send money seems odd.  But Shane – get real. If you want to make real change, you’re going to need a better system in place other than Facebook and Twitter-inspired rallies (I know it worked in Egypt, but overcoming global corporate greed might be more complicated).  And Ben and Jerry? They’re your ancestors!  One generation of hippies helping another; OWS would be foolish to turn them away.

Hippies by CRLS

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