It’s getting pretty cold in New York City these days, and with the courts ruling that protesters can no longer pitch tents in Zuccotti Park, the Occupiers are in for considerable discomfort if they continue. Actually, that’s only true for, er, 99% of the Occupiers. The 1% that comprise their leadership apparently have other ideas about what form a protest against The Man should take (via JWF):
A key Occupy Wall Street leader and another protester who leads a double life as a businessman ditched fetid tents and church basements for rooms at a luxurious hotel that promises guests can “unleash [their] inner Gordon Gekko,” The Post has learned.
The $700-per-night W Hotel Downtown last week hosted both Peter Dutro, one of a select few OWS members on the powerful finance committee, and Brad Spitzer, a California-based analyst who not only secretly took part in protests during a week-long business trip but offered shelter to protesters in his swanky platinum-card room.
“Tents are not for me,” he confessed, when confronted in the sleek black lobby of the Washington Street hotel where sources described him as a “repeat” guest.
Spitzer, 24, an associate at financial-services giant Deloitte, which netted $29 billion in revenue last year, admitted he joined the protest at Zuccotti Park several times.
Dutro decided to check into the hotel because he heard that he might have a little trouble on Thursday getting to the protest. Why? Because of, um, the protesters:
“I knew everything was going to be a clusterf–k in the morning,” he told The Post, alluding to Occupy’s own disruption plans. “How would I get over the bridge when they were shutting it down?”
And Dutro isn’t just one of the rank and file out on the street, either. Guess what his job at OWS happens to be?
Meanwhile, Dutro, 35, one of only a handful of OWS leaders in charge of the movement’s $500,000 in donations, checked in on Wednesday, the night after police emptied Zuccotti Park.
While hundreds of his rebel brethren scrambled to find shelter in church basements, Dutro chose the five-star, 58-story hotel, with its lush rooms and 350-count Egyptian cotton sheets. He lives only a short taxi ride away in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Two weeks ago, Fritz Tucker warned about the hijacking of OWS by the Spokes Council, a small group that plotted to seize control of the funds and usurp the General Assembly. Dutro claims that the money came out of his own pocket for the expensive hotel room, but it’s at least curious that one of the few money men of the movement turns up at one of the swankier downtown hotels. It’s even more curious, given the Huffington Post description of Dutro four weeks ago:
“The vast majority of the people here don’t understand how money works,” said Pete Dutro, a core member of the finance group who spends five hours a day in Zuccotti Park handling petty cash requests and handing out money for General Assembly- approved expenditures. “But we have real financial needs. Not everyone wants to barter and trade.” …
Dutro, a 36-year-old finance student at New York University currently on leave from classes and the former manager of a tattoo parlor, didn’t want to get involved with the finance group, but he saw that his experience handling money and running a business could be useful.
Does that sound like a man who can throw away $500 on a hotel room when he could just go across the bridge to sleep in his own bed? Perhaps — those student loans come in pretty handy at times — but maybe the GA should give a few up twinkles to an audit.
The best irony of all? The Occupiers have thrown a great deal of vitriol at the economic policies of the Bush administration. Landing in the lap of luxury at the W Hotel doesn’t exactly sound like a protest, though. It sounds an awful lot like a further extension of OWS as a practical demonstration of George Orwell’s fears in Animal Farm.