Report: ACORN Still Active, Helping 'Occupy' Movement

From Fox News:

The former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group, is playing a key role in the self-proclaimed “leaderless” Occupy Wall Street movement, organizing “guerrilla” protest events and hiring door-to-door canvassers to collect money under the banner of various causes while spending it on protest-related activities, sources tell FoxNews.com.

The former director of New York ACORN, Jon Kest, and his top aides are now busy working at protest events for New York Communities for Change (NYCC). That organization was created in late 2009 when some ACORN offices disbanded and reorganized under new names after undercover video exposes prompted Congress to cut off federal funds.

NYCC’s connection to ACORN isn’t a tenuous one: It works from the former ACORN offices in Brooklyn, uses old ACORN office stationery, employs much of the old ACORN staff and, according to several sources, engages in some of the old organization’s controversial techniques to raise money, interest and awareness for the protests.

Sources said NYCC has hired about 100 former ACORN-affiliated staff members from other cities – paying some of them $100 a day – to attend and support Occupy Wall Street. Dozens of New York homeless people recruited from shelters are also being paid to support the protests, at the rate of $10 an hour, the sources said.

At least some of those hired are being used as door-to-door canvassers to collect money that’s used to support the protests.

Sources said cash donations collected by NYCC on behalf of some unions and various causes are being pooled and spent on Occupy Wall Street. The money is used to buy supplies, pay staff and cover travel expenses for the ex-ACORN members brought to New York for the protests.

In one such case, sources said, NYCC staff members collected cash donations for what they were told was a United Federation of Teachers fundraising drive, but the money was diverted to the protests.

Sources who participated in the teachers union campaign said NYCC supervisors gave them the addresses of union members and told them to go knock on their doors and ask for contributions–and did not mention that the money would go toward Occupy Wall Street expenses. One source said the campaign raked in about $5,000.

Current staff members at NYCC told FoxNews.com the union fundraising drive was called off abruptly last week, and they were told NYCC should not have been raising money for the union at all.

Sources said staff members also collected door-to-door for NYCC’s PCB campaign — which aims to test schools for deadly toxins –but then pooled that money together with cash raised for the teachers union and other campaigns to fund Occupy Wall Street.

“We go to Freeport, Central Islip, Park Slope, everywhere, and we say we’re collecting money for PCBs testing in schools. But the money isn’t going to the campaign,” one source said.

“It’s going to Occupy Wall Street, and we’re not using that money to get schools tested for deadly chemicals or to make their kids safer. It’s just going to the protests, and that’s just so terrible.”

Read the full story here.

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