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Protesters target millionaires
Demonstrate near buildings of mogul, banker, oil tycoon
NEW YORK — Hundreds of protesters, emboldened by the growing national outcry against what they see as the greed of Wall Street, streamed past the homes of some of the country’s richest residents Tuesday in a “Millionaires March.”
Members of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and other groups walked up the sidewalks of Manhattan’s East Side, along world-famous streets like Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue that are lined with swank apartment towers.
They paused outside buildings where they said media mogul Rupert Murdoch, banker Jamie Dimon and oil tycoon David Koch had homes and expressed concern about how much less the wealthy will pay, and who would be harmed because of those lowered tax revenues, when New York’s 2 percent “millionaires’ tax” expires in December.
“I have nothing against these people personally; I just think they should pay their fair share of taxes,” said Michael Pollack, 52, an office worker in a law firm.
He held up a sign with a saying attributed to department store founder Edward Filene: “Why shouldn’t the American people take half my money from me? I took all of it from them.”
“It’s time for a new New Deal,” Mr. Pollack said.
The march was the first in the weeks since the protest began that identified specific people as being part of the 1 percent of the wealthiest Americans the demonstrators say are enriching themselves at the expense of others, through the influence of corporations and corporate culture on American society.
At one point, protesters stopped in front of a building where they said Mr. Dimon, JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO, has an apartment.
“Where’s our bailout?” they screamed. “How do we end this deficit? End the war, tax the rich!”
JPMorgan was among the banks that received federal bailout funds, and has since paid them back.
Mr. Dimon got supportive words Monday from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who said, “He’s brought more business to this city than maybe any other banker in [the] modern day. …To go and picket him, I don’t know what that achieves. Jamie Dimon’s an honorable person working very hard. He pays his taxes.”
Marcher Bahran Admadi, a former taxi driver and art dealer who is now unemployed, said it wasn’t a personal attack against the rich.
“I have nothing personal against them; as human beings we are all the same, but some of them take people’s blood,” he said. “Everything goes up the ladder while we work harder and harder.”
Protesters have been camped out for weeks in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street, saying they’re fighting for the “99 percent,” or the vast majority of Americans who do not fall into the wealthiest 1 percent of the population.
Their causes range from bringing down Wall Street to fighting global warming. The movement gained traction through social media, and protests have taken place in several other cities nationwide.
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