Occupy Wall Street, The Anonymous-backed protests in Lower Manhattan, caused some headaches for financial district commuters today. But one business couldn't be happier: Liberatos pizza, the official caterer of the the Wall Street protests.
The employees of Liberatos sounded overwhelmed when I called this afternoon—"We're so busy!" exclaimed one before accidentally hanging up on me. Not a surprise, since they've been tasked with feeding the hundreds of anticorporate protestors camped out in Zucotti Park near Wall Street for the last three days. Last night Liberatos made over 200 pies for hungry radicals before running out of dough. Today they churned out 350 at the lunchtime rush, and Liberatos' owner, Telly Liberatos, told us he expects even more for dinner.
Organizers have been passing around Liberatos' phone number over Twitter and in Google documents and the pizzas, $2,800-worth according to one estimate, started flowing. They were donated by sympathizers to express their solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protestors, who descended on Lower Manhattan on Friday and promise to remain for "a few months."
"We're getting phone calls from all over the world about buying pies for the protestors—they're really passionate about it," Liberatos told us.
With so many pizza joints in the area, Liberatos landed the gig by chance: The name "Liberatos" resonated with the protestors who have renamed Zucotti Park "Liberty Square" for the duration of the protests. Also, they take online orders, and Liberatos seemed like a pretty chill dude, even if he does spend most of his time feeding the very bankers Occupy Wall Street is protesting.
And Liberatos has embraced its role in the protest. Telly Liberatos has gone out to personally deliver to protestors and is using his Twitter account to update them about their orders. Today he announced on Twitter the "Occu-pie," a $15 special just for protesters which Liberatos described as having a single line of pepperoni running down the middle "like a no sign."
But Liberatos is careful not to alienate his capitalist customers.
"When they ask me my position I tell them, I'm just a small business trying to help out any customer," Liberatos said. "I don't care what they are or what they do. I'm nice and respectful to everyone."
The pizza flood is a hallmark of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, which has become deeply involved in the Occupy Wall Street protest. But usually it's done to punish Anonymous' enemies, not aid their friends: They flood victims' houses with hundreds of dollars of Dominos or Papa John's (unpaid for, of course) as a creepy "we're watching you" calling card.
The revolution will be greasy and packed with carbs.
[Pic via Paul Weiskel]