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.