OccuList: Occupy Wall Street organizer planned to financially ‘commodify’ the revolution

C.J. Ciaramella Contributor
Font Size:

The revolution will be corporate-sponsored! That’s according to Harrison Schultz, an Occupy Wall Street organizer who also happens to be a “business intelligence analyst” at a publicly traded company. On a limited-access email list shared by Occupy protesters, Schultz wrote of a “Corporate Funded Revolution,” calling it “a revolutionary plan.”

Despite protesters’ occupation of a New York City park and their stated goal of ending corporate influence — particularly of Wall Street — in government, e-mails emerged Monday showing Schultz and other anti-corporate organizers were a little more corporate than they like to let on. (RELATED: Read more on what was revealed in OccuList)

An e-mail tiff between Schultz and Micah White, senior editor at the Canadian magazine Adbusters, shows that Occupy Wall Street is not only a good place to score free food, but also a burgeoning business opportunity.

“I forgot to mention that one of my youtube clips of Reverend Billy’s preaching on the 17th has blown up,” Schultz wrote. “Google has invited me to monetize my clips. Moreover, my boss, from a publicly traded marketing company who thinks we’ve all done a killer job, has offered to help me learn how to use adsense to make some cash for the occupation.”

Schultz said corporate money might be necessary after the support of radicals from the around the world runs out.

“Monetizing YouTube content is one way to help make this occupation financially autonomous,” Schultz continued. “Recycling our message and using it to feed people here seems like a good idea to me and to those of my comrades I’ve suggested it to.”

The idea didn’t sit well with White. He called it “repugnant” and “quite contrary to the spirit of #OCCUPYWALLSTREET.”

White was so incensed that he shared an email Schultz had sent him on August 20, in which Schultz revealed his plan to “commodify” the Occupy  movement.

“My scheme is to commodify any traffic I manage to successfully drive to the occupywallst.org site, open it up and sell it as advertising space to corporations…,” Schultz allegedly wrote. “A Corporate Funded Revolution is a contradiction in terms, its practically an oxymoron. Something we’ve never considered before. It’s a revolutionary plan…”

Another person on the listserv suggested “it might not be a bad problem to set up some kind of 501c3 or LLC for OWS.”

Follow CJ on Twitter