Did the Occupy Wall Street Journal Advertise in The New York Times?

owsadvert Did the Occupy Wall Street Journal Advertise in The New York Times?

A quarter page advertisement for the Financial Transaction Tax, a.k.a. the Robin Hood Tax, appeared on page A21  of The New York Times today, under the heading “OCCUPY WALL STREET JOURNAL.”

But did the scrappy, Kickstarter-funded Occupy Wall Street Journal in circulation downtown have anything to do with it?

The advertisement wonders “who will be on the right side of history” after the G-20 summit going on in Cannes, France right now.

Bill Gates, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel are listed in the hero column, Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, and George Osborne are in the zero column. The status of Barack Obama and David Cameron is yet to be decided.

It goes on to say that the Financial Transaction Tax, currently under debate at G20, would “help those suffering as a result of financial crisis they did nothing to cause and help the City of London and Wall Street do something good.”

It’s signed with URLs for healthgap.org and robinhoodtax.org.

Although parts of the advertisement do look like they were made with scissors and glue (the OWS aesthetic, according to Blake Gopnik), it’s unrelated to the design and content of the Occupy Wall Street Journal. And although the Financial Transaction Tax (which would the tax stock, bond and derivative trades that accelerated the income gap) is in line with the spirit of OWS, the movement has been deliberate in avoiding party lines and talking points.

An advocate for Health Gap, a human rights, health, and HIV activism group, told us that the advertisement had been organized by Robin Hood Tax, a UK-based coalition of groups in favor of the tax, and Health Gap had signed on later. He added that they had collaborated with individuals from Occupy Wall Street, though not OWSJ specifically. It’s still Robin Hood Tax did.

The question is: Would the unofficial newspaper of a leaderless movement care that their name has been co-opted by non-profit groups on the occasion of a global financial summit?

We reached out to Robin Hood Tax and The Occupy Wall Street Journal for comment, will update if we hear back.


  1. Helena says:

    Oh heavens, don’t they realize that this tax will only hit Main Street?  “Wall Street” won’t pay a dime — it’ll just pass the cost on to ordinary folks — people with 401ks who’ll see their expenses go up and returns go down … and market volatility rocket because they’ll be fewer participants.  Not only that, an f.t.t will put out of business thousands of small-time daytraders who’ve been laid off from their jobs and have found that the only way to support their families is to eek out a living (and eeking it is) daytrading the stockmarket.  On balance, this tax is likely to reduce government revenues, as trading volume will drop (dramatically) while tax revenues from ancillary businesses fall.  Really, it’s hard to imagine a more counterproductive taxing scheme.

  2. Jed Brandt says:

    You can reach the Occupied Wall Street Journal at occupymedia@gmail.com. And, as an editor and for the record, no — we did not have anything to do with this advertisement.

  3. Robin Hood Tax UK says:

    Representative of the Robin Hood Tax UK here. Unfortunately, we never received your request for comment so we’ll add it in here. It would be appreciated if you could amend your article to reflect this.

    The advert was paid for by a third party supporter of the campaign. We ran a version of it in the UK edition of the Financial Times minus the Wall Street Journal banner. Whilst we were aware a version was running in New York Times we did not see this amended version. We have the utmost respect for the Occupy movement and their desire not be associated with any policy or party. We are very sorry for any confusion or bad feeling that may have arisen from this advert.