We get that a lot.
So here's a breakdown in how we came to exist, our ethics, and our contributions to the movement here in NYC.
In the days following September 17th, word began to circulate that something big was happening on Wall Street. People were camping out in Zuccotti Park, protesting economic injustice, making friends, creating art. One morning, a couple of printmakers showed up at the park with a screen and squeegee and began making prints on clothes, paper, or whatever items people brought. Gradually, more people (with and without relevant experience) began to populate the makeshift print station, and we soon ballooned into a major hotspot of Zuccotti Park life.
Making art for the people turned into a form of outreach that overjoyed us all. We were spreading the message that our grievances are all connected. We found ourselves engaging people on concepts like fracking, fractional reserve banking, organic gardening. People came to collect our prints and share with us news of other revolutionary groups, from Tahrir Square to Tampa Bay.
At our peak, we had a line that spanned almost an entire sidewalk of the park (much to the annoyance of the NYPD...) We printed for the children, the students, the parents, the elderly, people from all countries, all classes. A monk, a cop, a few Wall Streeters -- even a few adorable pets. Our donation bucket was always circulating. The People gave generously to us, and we gave ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of our profits directly to the Occupy Wall Street General Assembly. (Seriously, we didn't even use any for pizza.) The money was put to use on many integral projects, such as purchasing tents, supplies, warm clothes and medical supplies. We helped raise donations for the People's Kitchen, which dished out free meals three times daily. Our collections also helped fund Working Groups' projects and Metrocards for those in need.
Before Liberty Square was violently cleared in November, we gave over $15,000 to the General Fund, and when it came time to approach the GA with the plans to create a Workers Cooperative, the uptwinkles swept far and wide.
Through the love and support of our Occupy community, as well as the generosity of those who have donated, we were able to form our Co-Op Print Shop and establish ourselves as a voice from within the new paradigm.
Now, we continue to work hard to produce prints for OWS events, custom print orders, and community needs. Several bookstores around the city have begun to carry our tees and totes. And we still maintain the principles that have guided us since September 17th, 2011.
We operate on a donation structure. That means you can pay what's comfortable for you, because we know the 99% doesn't always have a lot of cash to throw around. We prefer to be more inclusive than exclusive. For the purposes of this website, please don't hesitate to contact us if you have trouble meeting our set prices. We're always happy to help.
As the OWS Screenprinters, we have evolved into an autonomous, multi-faceted, revolutionary print production facility. It is our sincere hope that you will enjoy what we make, and spread the message that lies in all of our hearts: A Better World is Possible.