‘Occupy Boston’ Fleabaggers getting donations. Legally?

Boston.com reports today that the protesters of the group known as ‘Occupy Boston’ are receiving online cash donations as well as donations of food, clothing, blankets and other camp style goods.  

On-line donors responded with more than $11,000, according to the group’s page on WePay.com, a Web service that processes Internet donations…..

A separate plea for logistical needs – food, blankets, warm clothing – has raised more than $10,000 for the two-week-old protest, based at a bustling half-acre tent city in Dewey Square near South Station.

The money was raised by solicitations for bail money after 100+ demonstrators were arrested ‘in a police raid’ the Boston Globe reports.  

Let me correct the disingenuous Boston Globe on a fact – it was not a police raid.  It was an open and orchestrated arrest of many people in an orderly and peaceful manner.  They were warned of arrest if they did no move their possessions off of restricted property.  A raid is defined as a ‘surprise attack’ on enemy troops – there was no surprise here folks – they saw it coming for twenty minutes.  

More importantly, I assume that Occupy Boston is a nonprofit organization that can legally accept cash donations?  After all, between cash and goods the total is over $22,000 and climbing.  If not, I assume they will pay taxes on the income generated through their online solicitations of cash? I assume the monies they receive will help pay for the cost of police overtime that is now expected to pass $2 million.  I assume that receipts are being given to the contributors of cash and goods so they can deduct it from their taxable income?  A quick search of the Secretary of State’s database on nonprofit corporations shows none listed as ‘Occupy Boston’.  

Maybe I assume wrong?  Maybe they are collecting funds and not paying taxes on them.  Maybe the Massachusetts Department of Revenue will look the other way?  Maybe, just maybe, many tens of thousands of dollars will be generated by this group and not a single penny of tax will be paid on it.  They didn’t have time to put together a list of demands until they had already been at camp for two weeks – what makes me think they had the time or the intellect to file as a nonprofit at the state.

If they are going to bitch and moan about people not paying their fair share of taxes – then maybe they should start by taking a good look at themselves…

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