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Occupy Inspires Profit

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Some say the irony is too rich. Others claim that every T-shirt sold and worn that hawks the Occupy movement spreads the message.

Regardless of which side of the revolution a person aligns with, the fact that protesters are chanting “People, not profits” and “Fight Corporate Greed” at one end of the park, while others are intoning “Buy a T-shirt” at the other, seems a bit odd.

Nonetheless, T-shirts began to appear several days after the first protests began in lower Manhattan in mid-September; since then, there has been a flurry of other apparel items, coffee mugs and assorted merchandise emblazoned with the Occupy message (a bold 99%) being offered online and at the various protest sites that have sprung up around the nation.

How big a commercial phenomenon is the Occupy Wall Street movement -- now dubbed OWS? A quick online search yields more than a dozen pages of results.

Spreadshirt, a customer T-shirt maker, claims to have well over 200 Occupy shirt designs. Another online vendor, OXgraphics, is selling Occupy T-shirts for as much as $27 and hoodies for $41. Meanwhile Ray Agrinzone, a clothing designer, launched last month, selling T-shirts, hoodies, hats, stickers and buttons.

In New York City it didn’t take long for tour bus operators to recognize the value of adding a new stop; some sightseeing tours now include Zuccotti Park.

On the accessories front, the “it” item is a red, white and blue bracelet that says “indivisible.” The bracelets, available at Starbucks with a donation of $5 or more, are not directly affiliated with the Occupy movement; donations go to the Create Jobs for USA fund.