The Real Deal New York

Fake blues: Paid participants reportedly joined anti-Amazon demonstration

Two men told Patch.com they attended the demonstration outside an Amazon store as respondents to a Craigslist ad soliciting people to carry signs for $30 an hour
February 24, 2019 01:30PM

Protestors rally against Amazon and the company’s plans to move their second headquarters to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, at New York City Hall, January 30, 2019 in New York City (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A public demonstration in New York City decrying Amazon included people who were paid to protest, Patch.com reported.

Some participants told Patch they were paid to join a crowd that gathered Feb. 15 outside an Amazon store in Manhattan to criticize Amazon for backing out of its plan to open a Queens headquarters.

Sammy Musovic, a landlord in Long Island City, led the anti-Amazon protest after borrowing to upgrade his apartment building, in the belief that the retailer would open a Queens headquarters.

Outside the Amazon store on West 34th Street, about 10 men walking beside Musovic held signs that read “Amazon Left Us!” and “Boycott Amazon!”

Two of those men, Charlie Perry and Donny Radwell, told Patch they participated in the protest as respondents to a Craigslist ad soliciting people to hold signs for $30 an hour.

Patch also obtained a video from Perry that shows a man handing cash to a group of participants in the Amazon protest.

In a telephone interview with Patch, Musovic denied paying fake protesters. A publicist for the landlord said he was unaware of the Craigslist ad and questioned its existence. Though contacted at the same phone number Perry texted to respond to the Craigslist ad, the publicist for Musovic said he did not recall the text. [Patch.com]Mike Seemuth