Occupy Protests Have Cost U.S. Cities $13 Million

adbusters_occupy-wall-street.jpg
The Occupy Wall Street protests, now into their second month, have cost 18 cities around the U.S. $13 million so far, according to a new AP report. The costs have mostly been in the area of law enforcement, as cities have ramped up police presences around occupations and sent cops in to evict campers and do crowd control at marches. In New York City, the costs have added up to $7 million.

The AP's numbers are from the beginning of the protests through November 15, when the Zuccotti Park protesters were kicked out. The highest costs have been incurred in Oakland and New York.

The costs on taxpayers aren't a good look for OWS, a movement that's supposed to exist for their benefit, the numbers aren't actually as extreme as we thought they'd be. Though $7 million sounds like a lot, it's really not when you compare it to the NYPD's $4.5 billion budget. And split between 18 different cities, $13 million sounds less impressive than it does in a headline.

The AP quotes deputy mayor Cas Holloway: "Public safety and providing essential services is what we do. So the first thing we're going to do is handle the situation, and any situation that comes up. So yes, this has been significant and it's been going on for many days, but really in the broad scheme of things, it's not something that we aren't prepared to deal with."

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.

My Voice Nation Help
18 comments
soothsayer
soothsayer

according to the independent budget office, the amt of money NYPD spent to police OWS cost nyc far less on average than policing a standard parade.

numbers for police overtime from nyc's independent budget office http://ibo.nyc.ny.us/cgi-park/...and explained here http://www.thenewyorkworld.com... nyc only spent $8million, and $8 mil is a small drop compared to the amt of money nyc spends on it's fiscal budget ($66 billion for fiscal year 2012). http://sunshinereview.org/inde...

binibonbon
binibonbon

Wonder how much $$ BLACK FRIDAY this year will end up costing taxpayers, what with all the shooting, pepper spray, grandpa beating etc.

TP
TP

Oh my thirteen million! By my calculations that's about what it costs the American public every ten minutes in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are more similar in one way - government overreaching and sticking its nose into areas that would be best left alone. What have the American people - excluding, of course Chief Justice's Roberts uber-citizens (the defense contractors) - gotten for the trillions that have been wasted? What did they get for the thirteen million other than videos of police brutality against American citizens exercising their constitutional right to protest their government?

novenator
novenator

Hit pieces like this that don't accurately represent the situation are not helpful Rosie.  Law enforcement agencies (including national agencies like the DHS, FBI, etc.) have been *using* OccupyWallStreet as an excuse to justify massive OverTime expenditures and other expensive an unnecessary operations. 

For instance, at #OccupyMN in Minneapolis, against our wishes the Sheriff's Dept set up a big canopy (as leverage in the PR war against us exercising our rights to set up tents as a form of protest).  They were then charging the county $600 PER DAY for it, when you can buy the entire thing for less than that. 

During many of the marches, rallies, and gatherings there are as many uniformed officers on hand as there are protesters.  Do you really need to be paying 100 cops golden time to guard against a peaceful crowd of 100 (or even 1000 for that matter)? 

ughhhhh
ughhhhh

Echo Wall Streeters cost taxpayers trillions.

Reminds me of Proposition 13 about 40 years ago - that worked!

Stephen Whitmore
Stephen Whitmore

How much have the Wall Street criminals and the Republican neocons cost this country?

eassae
eassae

Suck it Village Voice. I think you need some hedge fund ads in your sidebar, next to yet another picture of tits. No more noise from you please.

A12205730
A12205730

Somepeople might read this and say, “Why don’t they just pack it in already?  They’re hurting the very people they want tohelp.  What a bunch of idiots.”  Allow me to reframe the issue.  Most of these costs are going towards policeovertime and other such services.  Inother words, this 13 million dollar expenditure is going to pay for some veryheavy police presence and quite a bit of brutality.  After all it takes a chunk of cash to pay forriot police, helicopters, dump trucks to remove protestor’s stolen possessions,and all that good stuff.  This money ispaying for incidents such as beating and pepper spraying a pregnant woman,pepper spraying of an 84 year old woman, pepper spraying and attacks on nonviolentstudent protestors, assault of nonviolent protestors, and (just to throw it outthere) theft of property.  Looking at itin this context, shouldn’t your reaction be “Why are these cities expecting meto pay them to trample my first amendment rights?”

Jose Rivera
Jose Rivera

And the global robbery of the 'privileged' 1% has cost the world about 100 trillion...At least!  Why even right a story about the loss of paint on a penny?!  Well what do you expect.  The Village Voice is just another MEDIA VEHICLE so what was I expecting a truthful outlook?  Sheeeiiitttt, I must be losing it...

Peter S. Los Angeles
Peter S. Los Angeles

The amount of police presence used, the amount of police equipment, riot gear, scooters, paddywagons etc, especially in NYC has been entirely unnecessary, and uncalled for. It's not OWS bringing out all the extra officers and gear, it's the officials calling for the disruption of OWS that are costing the taxpayers $13M.

Occupy Everywhere
Occupy Everywhere

Bad headline from The Village Voice, which used to be free-thinking ..back in the day.

Proper headline: Cities waste $13 Million on Occupy Suppression Actions (after receiving advice from a private organization on how to handle encampments.)

I'll wait to see if the Voice covers the camping - tents, food, chairs, sleeping bags - that began yesterday outside of corporate stores - and the LACK of any police response, violations or citations. I won't hold my breath.

Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen

Guess we can put a price on the freedom of speech.

Cue the usual rightwing assholes to bitch about it.  I'm sure Hannity will do a segment with Anne Coulter.

Georgerray
Georgerray

Here's a headline corporate news whores:  Bankster fraud and corrupt politicians cost the planet tens of trillions of dollars

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

This “cost” to cities is a drop in the bucket compared tothe BILLIONS robbed from Middle Class by our banking and finance institutionsnot to mention the BILLIONS withheld by Corporate Tax Loopholes and CorporateWelfare.  I’m certain this figureincludes the ineffective and abusive pepper spray and riot gear which are undoubtedlysold to our local police with obscene profit margins by companies also guiltyof war profiteering.  RAISE your voice indefense of the movement with my free Occupy artist posters at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...and help fight smear campaigns like this story when they’re taken out ofcontext.

The_Liann
The_Liann

It didn't NEED to cost the govt anything. Citizens peacefully using their Constitutional Rights to Assemble to Petition their Govt for Redress of Grievances does not call for overtime or riot gear.

So, they set up some tents in a few places? Govt gets along with tents in Yosemite and Yellowstone, why not Zuccotti? The govt can demand that the protesters pay for porta-potties, and hire a security guard or two. What's the big deal?

Streimer77
Streimer77

The big deal is at Zuccoti park is not there's for the taking. I'd also like to have the ability to walk in public space free from harrassment and politic opinion. Your also forgetting about the rights of the actual owners of the area, business and residents. They too deserve the right to use public space, they have a right that a porta potty is not set up on there corner, that people don't deficate there doorways and that small business owners are not held hostage to a mob. We too have rights. If you want to protest, go to Washington. Downtown has had its share, terrorist attacks, a decade of rebuilding and the headache of jackhammers, security details and street closures. It's time to free those living in downtown from the constant oppression that is being experienced by these so called protestors..

CurriculumVeto
CurriculumVeto

Your insistence on business-as-usual is in itself a "politic opinion." Historically, protest and vigorous discussion have been among the most important uses of public spaces (see: http://www.the99guide.com/The_... ). No one is defending the isolated cases of doorway shitting, but the minor inconveniences you're talking about don't come close to amounting to "constant oppression" and they're dwarfed by the calamity caused by the financial sector.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...