December 12, 2011
by Zaid Jilani
One of the claims that opponents of Occupy protests are using is to say that these raucous street demonstrations and occupations are hurting local businesses by scaring off customers.
A number of Occupy groups, cognizant of this complaint, have invented a new tactic to support local businesses. Rather than utilize “flash mobs” — like they have been against lobbying firms and big corporations — these groups are organizing “cash mobs.” In these cash mobs, people come together to spend money to support local businesses (a typical mob might ask each member to spend $20, for example).Local news station Fox 6 profiled Wisconsin’s Occupy Riverwest and a cash mob it organized last week. “They’ve taken buildings in our community, they’ve hired workers and they’ve provided excellent businesses for our community. We want to reward that and bring our money and spend it locally
,” said Occupy Riverwest’s Joe Brusky to the news station. Watch the station’s video report:
Occupy Riverwest says it spent “well over $5,000” in its cash mob. There have been cash mobs in cities as far-ranging as Los Angeles, San Diego, Milwaukee, and Vancouver. There is a Twitter handle — @cashmobs — that you can use to follow these events; the account is being operated by the owners of a new blog that has been formulating the ideas behind the cash mobs.