Protesters take their message to wealthy
NEW YORK – Perhaps never have so many people walked past the Valentino and Emilio Pucci stores without stopping to window shop, but the crowd marching through Manhattan’s chic Upper East Side on Tuesday wasn’t looking for shoes or handbags.
It was looking for millionaires and billionaires, who proved as elusive as a cheap pair of Manolo Blahniks, as supporters of Occupy Wall Street’s anti-greed movement took their demonstration to the homes of a well-heeled few.
It was a relatively small but very loud group that made its way through some of the toniest stretches of Manhattan, starting at 59th Street and 5th Avenue in a square across the street from the posh Plaza Hotel.
The gathering was sponsored by Strong Economy for All, a coalition of labor and other groups that supports Occupy Wall Street’s nearly monthlong sit-in in Manhattan’s financial district.
Michael Kink of Strong Economy for All said the march was aimed at keeping alive a state millionaires tax that is due to expire in December. “New York state is about to give a tax cut to the richest of the rich,” Kink told the crowd of about 200.
“Booooo!” the protesters replied.
With that, the crowd was off to its first stop a mere five blocks up 5th Avenue to the building where media magnate Rupert Murdoch lives.
Murdoch did not come to the door. Nor did anyone else. In fact, the doormen on duty quickly closed the doors and locked them, peering outside at the crowd. The crowd peered in at them.
There were four more stops on this tour of the homes of the rich and powerful, including those of billionaire tea party backer David Koch; banker Howard Milstein; hedge fund manager John Paulson; and JPMorgan CEO and President Jamie Dimon.
“I think everyone feels they’re doing the right thing,” said Park Avenue resident Jill Horowitz, when asked if she thought the protesters’ tactics would have an impact. “There’s no other way to bring this issue to the public.”