Charming to the Last

Protesters who supposedly gathered to express outrage after Amazon dropped plans for a Queens headquarters included mercenary activists paid to turn up, according to video and some participants.

The crowd picketed outside the retail giant’s brick-and-mortar store on West 34th Street Feb. 15 in a protest spearheaded by Long Island City landlord Sammy Musovic, who said he’d borrowed money to renovate his four-story apartment building in anticipation of the company’s arrival.

Flanking Musovic was a group of about 10 men holding up signs reading “Boycott Amazon!” and “Amazon Left Us!”

But two of those participants told Patch they had responded to a Craigslist post recruiting people to hold signs for $30 an hour. A video obtained by Patch shows a man handing out cash to a group of protesters after the event.


Musovic denied any knowledge of the Craigslist post and the payments. “I don’t know anything about that,” he said by phone. “We were just trying to get Amazon back on the table.”

When a reporter described the video documenting the payments, Musovic repeated the denial and hung up.

I believe that the term for this is “Manufacturing Consent.”

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