Two months after Occupy Wall Street set up its first tent, two Manhattan small business owners -- dubbed "the biggest heroes on Wall Street" by Business Insider -- decided to protest the protests, heading down to Zuccotti park donning signs that read, "Occupy a Desk" and "Get a Job."
Now, those two men -- brothers Derek and John Tabacco -- are organizing a full-fledged jobs fair in Zuccotti park exclusively for the Occupiers. According to Mediaite, the “Occupy A Desk American Job Fest” is slated for Monday, December 12, from noon until 4:00 p.m.
So far 12 companies with at least 40 job openings are confirmed to take part, including Intermedia Group, Network Placements, and Ambit Energy.
“During our last counter protest, we heard repeatedly from Occupy Wall Street that they couldn’t find a job,” Derek Tabacco says, in explaining the impetus behind the job fair. “We thought with the holiday season upon us, what better gift to give someone than a much-needed job.”
The brothers say that there will be proper tables set up, and candidates will be able to give resumes to Human Resource representatives, as well as take part in pre-interviews. Derek Tabacco tells Mediaite that if businesses would like to get involved in the job fair, they can contact him or his brother, either through the movement’s website or via Twitter. And he promises, to both the potential job-seekers and employers, that this is a sincere event.
“Our dad was an NYPD officer, our mom was a housewife highly focused on community and charity,” he said. “We weren’t brought up to be antagonistic. We want to bring a positive message to the park. We welcome anyone to come by and check out the fair.”
Below is an interview with the Tabacco brothers from back in November:
Despite their desire to help now, though, the website Salon has questioned the Tabacco brothers in the past.
For example, the site reminds readers that Derek once appeared on the Bravo reality TV show "Millionaire Matchmaker." And in addition to anti-OWS activists, the two brothers seem to be jacks of all trades:
But it turns out the Tabacco brothers have a long and sometimes checkered history of publicity-seeking and relentless self-promotion — and their claim that 50 local businessmen are supporting the anti-Occupy protest is entirely unsubstantiated.
Besides owning a finance company called LocateStock in lower Manhattan, John Tabacco is a Fox News contributor, a failed talk radio host, an unsuccessful city council candidate from Staten Island, and a onetime participant in the VH1 show “My Coolest Years.” An endorsement John Tabacco received in his city council campaign was later alleged to have been part of a pay-to-play deal. Derek Tabacco, for his part, is the CEO of what appears to be a defunct social network company for sports fans.
Below is a clip of Tabacco in action during his appearance on The Millionaire Matchmaker. The entertainment value alone makes it worth a peek. Tabacco makes his appearance at the beginning of the clip and then again at around the 7:00 mark. Watch as he woos his date:
But while entertaining, does the Tabaccos' past matter though?
This story has been updated.