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.
"I was just looking for jobs and came across that gig — I thought it was advertising-related," Donny Radwell, one of the protesters, told Patch.
Charlie Perry, 21, another protester who spoke to Patch, said the ad was deleted right after the event, but he recorded a video of protesters receiving the cash payments. The video shows an unidentified man handing wads of cash to several protesters, including Radwell.