“Organizers plan to address the problem and try to get rid of some of the scammy accounts.”
SLEEPS is described as a offshoot of OCCUPY. Does this newcomer have the same set-up for receiving donations that OCCUPY has/had, and if not, why not? I demand to know what their system is. I demand the Mayor of Eugene and Springfield launch an investigation to make sure monies are going for the benefit of the homeless.
On the morning I was to meet Belle Burch at the Wandering Goat, I put together this blog so I could show Belle what I am about, on my laptop.
I got no response! I was puzzled. I thought she was going to say she knew the woman wearing a bonnet and hemp outfit, but, she stopped herself. Belle did not say;
“Oh! You’re involved in OCCUPY too?”
Above are my OCCUPY posters I got at the second meeting.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 20, 2013
Thursday found Occupy Eugene offshoot protest group ‘SLEEPS’ occupying the steps of the old federal building.They’ve done so for well over a month as a homeless and un-housed viable facilitation solutions debate rages in Eugene.
Sept 17 marked the two year anniversary of Occupy New York. Yet, the national news was largely void of its mention. Although a bit understated, the Occupy movement continues in Eugene to the benefit of area homeless and transient populations. Estimated at 1,700, the group has expanded with the prolonged recovery of what many economists now refer to as the second great depression. While Eugene’s unemployment has decreased with the economic recovery of the state and local economy, many of these folks haven’t clocked into a job in years.
Pushed by local law enforcement to ‘ move along,’ the homeless and the intentionally un-housed, continuously search for a safe, if not quite encampment or place to sleep.
While the “Occupy” bank and government protest of 2011 is all but a memory, the un-housed freedom and rights protest isn’t. The homeless remain under fire in a city that is often overwhelmed by an expanding homeless population. Public safety and health departments colliding with mostly well intentioned protestors and A.C.L.U. attorneys, fuel the fire of discontent smoldering within an often downtrodden street society that very often simply wishes to be left alone
The Occupy Wall Street protest in New York has only two official venues for donations–well, three if you count Bitcoin–but there are more than 200 online accounts claiming to raise money for the occupation. Some of those are affiliated groups or helpfully-minded syndicates–legal defense funds, generator funds, food funds, to personal fundraising to get to an occupation (transportation), and “scholarship” funds, for occupations across the country. But some of them are looking like scams.
Betabeat discovered an account on WePay.com, “Occupy Wall Street Fund,” which purported to be raising money for the organizers behind the New York City protest. One of the original organizers, Victoria Sobel, told us that the account looks fake–the fund claims to be raising money for things like cell phone service and medication refills, which the protest doesn’t pay for, she said. [UPDATE: This fund is legit, Betabeat discovered, after a protester got back to our request for contact. The money went to the group that runs the OccupyWallSt.org site. But there are others, including a WePay account attempting to raise $10,000, she said, that are dubious.]
Organizers plan to address the problem and try to get rid of some of the scammy accounts, she said, but it’s not being addressed just yet. “We’re actually facing eviction at the moment, so right now it’s not our top priority,” she said, referring to the city’s effort to clear the park tomorrow. “But protecting the interests of our very generous donors is very high on our list of priorities.”
A lot of the accounts are using WePay, the Palo Alto-based Y Combinator alternative to PayPal. Betabeat called WePay’s head of marketing, Julia Kung, to ask about fraud protection. “Is this related to the occupations?” she asked immediately.
Actually yes, we said, surprised.
Apparently there are more than 200 accounts on WePay alone raising money for various occupations, and the startup has been getting questions from customers curious about their veracity. “The thing with the occupations is that there’s not a roster of people who belong to Occupy Wall Street,” she said. “Since the Occupation does not have a list of people for us to verify accounts against, we have been extremely careful in scanning these accounts. We do not process donations related to campaigns that are found fraudulent.”
WePay aggressively investigates accounts that may be fraudulent, she said, with a staff of background checkers who look at social media and user-provided information to figure out whether the cause is legit. If fraud is discovered, donors are never charged, she said.
The amount of money raised for occupation-related campaigns on WePay is now over $100,000, she said.