The Occupy Wall Street movement which is both leaderless and agendaless is now struggling with what to do with  what do with the homeless who show up to their encampments for shelter and  food and those that are trying to profit off the protest by selling merchandise.

The Atlantic Wire reports on this has caused some resentment from the OWS faithful.

Seven different New York Times reporters scoured encampments across the nation and looking for homeless people. They found many, but came up with little hard data on how many protesters are actually homeless: “Some organizers estimated that as many as 30 percent of the people camping out in some cities were chronically homeless, a figure that seems impossible to verify.” While showing up for camaraderie, a warm meal, and a chance to protest one’s economic situation doesn’t seem out of bounds from the movement’s original principles, The Times did find some protesters who are not pleased with the developments. “It’s bad for most of us who came here to build a movement,”  Zuccotti Park protester Hero Vincent told the paper. “We didn’t come here to start a recovery institution.”

Apparently the homeless are not part of the 99%.

Earlier last month the OWS organizers in New York shut down their kitchen temporarily when they realized that the homeless were showing up for a hot meal.

Can’t have the riff-raff ruining the image of the movement now can we?

Then there is the question of making money off the protest.

The New York Daily News reports on one woman’s efforts to profit from OWS.

A  Midwood t-shirt maker is cashing in on Occupy Wall Street by selling her “ioccupy” wares at Zuccotti Park – and defending her hustle as part of the American Dream.

Gloria Erani, 27, set up shop at the epicenter of the growing global movement hawking shirts for $15 apiece in front of the tents lining Liberty Street.

Unlike other OWS vendors, who mainly sell art and buttons and give their profits to the protesters, Erani is proudly keeping the cash.

“Growing up in Brooklyn, I got to see a small business hustle. My dad owns a shoe store on Kings Highway; retail is on our blood,” said Erani, as customers thumbed through the pile of simple black and white tees.

But OWS members want her out, saying she’s exploiting their cause of stopping capitalistic exploitation.

“It’s called predatory capitalism. She’s using our movement to make money,” said Christopher Guerra, 27, who sicced the computer hacker group Anonymous on Erani last week.

“I warned her – ‘you keep doing this, you are going on the Internet,'” Guerra said.

Erani said she choose to print “ioccupy” on the clothes since “everyone loves Apple” products and “I feel it would sell very well.”

And her hunch is profitable: Erani said she’s sold about 75 shirts during her weekly visits to Zuccotti, telling prospective buyers their cash will support the local economy.

“It’s a chain reaction. It keeps money circulating. Now I can help my local grocer,” Erani told two British tourists eyeing the tees.

Proud dad Chuck Erani, 55, who has ran his shop Chucky’s Designer Shoes for 30 years, said his daughter is doing what Americans do best – turning an idea into dollar bills.

“My daughter is out there working, hustling to make a buck to pay her rent,” said Chuck Erani. “I am happy she’s standing up for her capitalistic entrepreneurial rights.”

Erani is making pocket change with her t-shirts and the real ire should be directed at OWS’s bulging back account which has reached an estimated $500,000 and continues to grow without any plans on to distribute it to those that are really in need.

Hypocritical?  You bet.


Those hoping to make a quick buck on the troubles of Rupert Murdoch after the phone hacking scandal have found that their isn’t a market for wares.

Ad Age notes the difficulties anti-Murdoch merchandisers have  faced;

Exhibit 1: The final edition of Murdoch’s News of the World, which published on July 10. At press time, eBay had 32 copies for sale—and all of two bidders. The highest offer stood at $8.13; the other guy’s best offer was $1.61. (C’mon guys, these papers were in mint condition!) Nearby, a genuine autographed photo of Murdoch was selling for 100 bucks. No takers. (eBay did not respond to a request for comment.)

Murdoch merch isn’t moving very well over at gag retailer, either, which is currently selling an apron that reads “I’m Grilling the Murdochs” and a “News Corp. Hacked My Phone” shirt. “The items appeared fast and furious,” said vp of marketing Jason Kang. “However, Rupert Murdoch isn’t something that translates well into being a hot consumer item.” Why not? “When bin Laden got taken care of, people felt enormous pride,” Kang explained. “The Murdoch thing is funny, but doesn’t engender the same emotional response.”

Even at pop culture gift giant CafePress, nobody wanted a little something to remember Rupert by, though the prices were tough to beat. Eleven bucks buys you a Rupert Murdoch notebook. A T-shirt that reads “Without News of the World, where can I read my phone messages?” has been reduced from $24 to $15. Still, no orders. “The recent news around Rupert Murdoch has caused barely a blip,” lamented PR manager Marc Cowlin. The scandal, he ventured, “is interesting—just not in a T-shirt or merchandise sort of way.”

There are a lot of people particularly on the left who despise Murdoch and he certainly didn’t handle the phone hacking scandal very well, but he doesn’t engender the emotional response necessary to gin sales of merchandise.

The same would go if Murdoch had done something heroic, people just don’t care or know very much about hims despite the headlines and that is a recipe for disaster when it comes to selling anything with his name attached to it.

Chalk this one up to another get rich quick scheme that fizzled.