An Occupy Wall Street organizer has found a creative solution that many hard-core protesters face: How do you Occupy full-time and pay the bills? In Dicey Troop’s case, the answer is: Ask the Internet to send you money.
Troop is one of the people who manages the @LibertySqGA account, which is in charge of livetweeting General Assemblies and Spokes Councils. He also maintains his own Twitter account for other aspects of OWS. Troop left his job to “tweet the revolution” in October and won’t be able to continue unless another solution is found, it seems. He is asking for $6,000 every three months, adding up to an annual budget of $24,000. That includes helping him with his student loans.
Hi fam! I’ve been Occupying Wall Street since October 12th, providing constant updates via Twitter and working within the occupation to lend my skills and to increase transparency and interconnection. I was arrested Tuesday, November 15th, during the evacuation of Liberty Square and was one of the only sources of live video and written coverage during that time.
I left my full-time job to join the revolution and while I can return to the working world, I’d much rather stay committed to Occupy Wall Street on a full-time basis. I plan to continue bottom-lining our livetweet coverage of all OWS General Assemblies and Spokescouncils, participating in PR and facilitation working groups, and participating in direct actions (and pledge, of course, to continue to be non-aggressive at all times in doing so). I may be arrested again if it is again a matter of defending our civil liberties.
I’d also like to increase my web presence by blogging and adding to the conversation around Occupy and the vast inequalities of wealth and voice we experience in the United States and around the world. While my primary contribution has been live and very detailed transcripts via twitter, I have much to add on the political theory and analysis side of things, and will be able to allocate more energy to that sort of thing if I can set aside my monetary concerns for a little while.
There are a few other things up my sleeve, too, but they’ll take considerable planning and networking to make work. By helping me pay rent, you’ll be helping me bring those things into being as well!
You can also help Troop pay off his student loans, if you should feel so inclined:
After consulting with numerous people, I’ve created the following plan. My initial goal is to raise enough money for three months (December, January and February). At that time, we can re-evaluate what we’re doing together, and if it feels like folks want me to continue, i’ll do another round of fundraising.
Here’s the cost breakdown. I’ll go into more detail about the reasoning for each expense below.
Rent: $625/month. (*3 = $1875)
iPhone data plan w/ tethering: $120 (*3 = $360)
Student loan payments: $300 (*3 = $900)
Food: $300/month (*3 = $900)
Unlimited metrocard: $108/month (*3 = $324)
3-month total: $4359
Because it would be nice to have a little more breathing room, and because it would give me some resources to get some other OWS projects off the ground (before they’re ready to be Kickstarted or to get funds from GA), I’m going to set the goal at $6,000. Any excess at the end of February will carry over into the next three months’ budget.
That works out to a potential annual funding of $24,000, which is a little less than half what I made before I quit my job to tweet the revolution.
What you’ll get as a return on your investment:
* At least 8 hours a day of active OWS participation (though, if precedent is anything near prophecy, it’s pretty much gonna be eat-sleep-occupy-repeat)!
* I’ll continue to bottom-line @LibertySqGA – that means continued consistent livetweeting of all Liberty Square General Assemblies and Spokescouncils.
* I’ll continue to livetweet, w/ video and photos, marches and other tense or interesting situations. The whole world can only watch if we’re there to show it to them!
* Additional content on Tumblr (http://diceytroop.tumblr.com) and elsewhere
* Weekly accounting updates — specific info on where your money has gone.
Sound like a good deal, everyone? Troop has so far accrued $540 of his initial $6,000 drive. He was not immediately available for comment.
Update 7:15 p.m.: Dicey Troop has responded on his Tumblr. Apparently this blog post was not the most pleasant thing for him to wake up to today!
An excerpt from his response:
And, not to be super defensive, but to those focused on the money, this isn’t exactly a trade-up in terms of compensation. I left my full-time job, but I’ve got other freelance options that I enjoy and don’t find to be burdensome at all. I’m not into this for the money, and I honestly think that if you follow me on Twitter that’ll be more or less clear. It’s also not very different from other jobs I’ve had being paid to fundraise for traditional electoral political organizations, where my paycheck came from the money given to whoever was hiring the company I worked for.
After all, If Barack Obama can raise millions and millions from small donors like myself, and then work for the big guys anyway, crowd-sourcing a bare minimum of funds to hold my life together while I throw myself into the most promising movement of my lifetime seems likely to be a much better deal for all involved.