NY Post Calls Out "Creepy" Drug-Users at Wall St. Protests

By Jason Gotlieb 10/10/11

The Occupy Wall Street protests are awash with drugs and debauchery, cries the New York Post. But the New York Observer doubts it.

Dave, a "drug-addled fugitive" Photo via

The New York Post—owned by the Newscorp company of Rupert Murdoch, a prominent member of "the 1%"—has reported salaciously on the seamier side of the Occupy Wall Street protests today, claiming that, "sex, drugs and hiding from the law" abound. Dave, aged 24, is described as taking advantage of Zuccotti Park's underbelly. "Wanted for burglary, the drug-addled fugitive said some of his hard-partying pals clued him in that the protest was a good place to be fed, get wasted and crash," writes the Post, describing him with relish as "a scrawny, unshaven miscreant in filthy clothes from Stamford, Conn." The paper quotes him as saying: “I’ve been smoking and drinking in here for eight days now. I need to get some methadone. Every day, I wake up, and I’m fucked up.” One Post reporter was apparently offered pot and heroin for $15 and $10 respectively—the quantities involved aren't mentioned—at Zucotti Park. Now in its 23rd day of occupation, the park is said to smell "like an open sewer—with people urinating and defecating in public." What's more, the free condoms distributed by the organizers have led to flagrant displays of public sex, according to the Post. "I haven't hooked up with any guys," one female protester told the newspaper, "but one of my friends did have sex in a tarp with a guy last night." So have the protests really deteriorated into some kind of post-apocalyptic Wall St. Woodstock? The New York Observer ran a response to the Post's depiction, describing its rival's headline as "fear-mongering." The Observer also questions the Post's credibility and fact-checking capabilities, referring to its "long history of declaring places the new 'druggy hangout.'" Any potential misrepresentation of the protesters to distract attention from the issues concerning them might not rival Murdoch's famous phone-tapping escapades in magnitude, but in any case, the Observer isn't buying it.

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Jason Gotlieb is a programmer, software developer, and writer living in New York. You can find him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.