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November 02, 2021

Is it time for 'Occupy' protestors to pack up and go home?

Going against the Occupy protestors, who are taking the good fight against corporate greed global, is about as popular a stance as “Maybe Kim and Kris really did  marry for love” or “Down with Movember.”

But, still, six weeks after the first demonstrators set up shop in New York, there’s a small faction of detractors in opposition of the protests, blasting the movement not for standing up for its right to speech but for its lack of definitive goals or specific demands.

Here, though, is a more modest reason that maybe it’s time for the Occupy protests to cease.

According to the Gothamist, one Wall Street restaurant near the demonstration has seen its business plummet so bad that more than 20 per cent of its employees have been laid-off.

Wall Street’s Milk Street Café is the victim here, slammed by the thousands occupying the streets and forcing much of New York’s foot traffic elsewhere.

*Bing: Is an Occupy protest happening in your city?

“I have no opinion about the protestors’ point of view,” restaurant owner Marc Epstein said recently. “These barriers are killing my business … (they’ve) created a siege down here on Wall Street that makes people not come here.

“My staff is collateral damage for other people’s battles.”

Epstein says when he opened in June, he hired 100 people and “thought that was something good.”

But now that New York cops have had to barricade much of the Wall Street area to cordon off demonstrators, Epstein says his business has become a dead zone. It has plummeted, he claims, by 30 per cent, and so far he’s had to lay off more than 20 of his original workers.

The official Occupy Wall Street reply was sympathetic but not totally: “The NYPD makes the decisions on the part of police barricades. This is not our choice and we would never want businesses to have to deal with inconveniences that may reduce their business traffic.”

Certainly, protestors must not want a local restaurant to fail, but surely they realize what their presence on Wall Street, no matter who it’s directed at, is doing to the culture and climate in the district.

Do you think it’s time for Occupy protestors to move on, or is a restaurant’s plight simply collateral damage en route to achieving the greater good?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...