Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.
The protesters known as Occupy Wall Street may be critical of capitalism, but they still rely on the banking industry to collect and process the donations that they use to feed the troops and keep their rallies going.
So when an account for donations was mysteriously frozen, organizers accused the industry of holding the money hostage -- only to issue a public apology hours later when they realized it wasn't The Man who had brought them down.
The confusion began Friday morning when the Alliance for Global Progress, the nonprofit soliciting online contributions for Occupy Wall Street, sent out an alert to its supporters with the headline: "URGENT! Demand that e-onlinedata Stop Holding Hostage Contributions to 'Occupy Wall Street'! Release the funds! CALL TODAY!”
The alert listed the phone number for e-onlinedata, the credit card-processing company that had been receiving but not fully processing online contributions.
“Some $60,000 or more in donations to Occupy Wall Street are currently being held back," the call to arms read. "This company is a sub-contractor to Authorize.net which, in turn, is a division of CyberSource Corporation which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Visa--a New York Stock Exchange traded company."
The alert went on to say e-onlinedata had suspended the account, "citing the unprecedented large number of contributions."
"This is an outrage and yet one more attempt by those alligned (sic) with the wealthy one percent in their attacks against this movement and against people's movements everywhere.”
They also resent an earlier press release: “Alliance for Global Justice Sabotaged over Support for Occupy Wall Street and Anti-War Occupation of Liberty Plaza,” a lengthy rant of conspiratorial claims against capitalist society.
"This is too much of a coincidence to believe it is not intentional," Chuck Kaufman, AfGJ national coordinator, is quoted as saying in the alert.
"My feeling is that there are people in power who are very worried about Occupy Wall Street and the protests here in DC. They see that these movements are catching on and spreading across the country and they're playing dirty.”
But after Occupy Wall Street supporters inundated e-onlinedata with complaints, protest organizers discovered the truth: It was their own fault. They issued a public apology and called off the troops, saying the volume of contributions had been more than their account could handle.
"Following extensive conversations with the company today, we are confident that the situation is on its way to a rapid resolution," the latest alert reads. "Please stop making calls to E-Onlinedata and please forward this alert to any listserves to which you may have forwarded our original alert."
The apology stressed that the protesters' beef with the "sins" of the banking industry should not extend to their own banker.
"E-Onlinedata strongly assured us that there was no political motive in freezing our account and holding the funds. ... We believe that this is a reasonable explanation and we have no evidence that E-Onlinedata is anything other than a reputable company servicing merchants and the banking industry."