Occupy Wall Street members do not intend to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, despite a report from the Iranian state-sponsored Fars News Agency saying otherwise.
“This is nonsense propaganda,” Dana Balicki, a member of the Occupy Wall Street PR Team, told The Daily Caller. “There is no organized effort on behalf of OWS to meet with Ahmadinejad,” she said. “None at all.”
Balicki also denied any funding of the movement from Iran or Iranian entities, again denouncing such speculation as “nonsense propoganda.”
“Furthermore, there is no way to verify anything from Fars News Agency as they have no listed phone number and their email address bounces,” she said.
“It would’ve been nice to get a call before the original story went up repeating an unverifiable news report which drags us into the Iranian regime’s propaganda efforts,” said Balicki.
The Weekly Standard reported Monday that, according to the Fars News Agency, Ahmadinejad will meet with “Occupy Wall Street anti-capitalist protestors, despite the ongoing efforts made by the pro-Zionist lobbies to prevent direct link between American people and the Iranian president.”
The Iranian president is in New York City for the annual opening of United Nations General Assembly.
Shawn Carrie, an activist with the Occupy Wall Street movement, also denied the report, telling Buzzfeed, “Nobody in their right mind would meet with a fascist dictator like Ahmadinejad.”
Carrie said that members of the movement may go protest the Iranian leader, along with Havaar, an Iranian anti-war organization.
Havaar plans to protest Ahmadinejad, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as U.S. sanctions against Iran, in front of Ahmadinejad’s hotel in New York City Tuesday afternoon.
“JOIN Havaar as we raise our voices in protest, in front of Ahmadinejad’s hotel, against the crimes of his government, including the lack of accountability for the torture and killing of dissidents, and the continued unjust detention of Iranian political prisoners — including union organizers, student activists, and advocates for the rights of all Iranians,” said a Facebook event announcement from Havaar.
“Join us to simultaneously express opposition to US-led sanctions and American and Israeli threats of war against Iran,” said the event announcement.
No one individual can speak for the Occupy Wall Street movement as a whole, Carrie and others repeatedly stressed to TheDC over the past several weeks.
“Anyone can say they are doing anything on behalf of Occupy,” said Balicki. “It’s a horizontal movement and there are no membership cards handed out. It’s not a way to attribute movement wide politics to OWS.”
For example, Occupy Wall Street organizer Aaron Minter, also called Aaron Black, told TheDC at the conclusion of the one-year anniversary celebration of Occupy Wall Street that he was the “organizing arm” of the movement – a statement that outraged many members of the movement who are already at odds with Minter.
Balicki left open the possibility, however, that individuals loosely associated with Occupy Wall Street may be meeting with Ahmadinejad.
“Anything is possible, but that doesn’t make it true or legitimate,” she said.
“We don’t hand out membership cards,” she said. “This is a broad-based horizontal movement. If that is the case, that some individuals are meeting with him, they are not representing OWS in any sort of organized capacity.”