Occupy Wall Street marched uptown Tuesday, with hundreds of protesters appearing at the doorsteps of moguls such as Rupert Murdoch to condemn the looming expiration of a “millionaire’s tax.”
The protesters said they are livid the state tax, which will end at the end of the year, will put an extra $5 billion in the pockets of New Yorkers who don’t need it.
“New York state is about to give a tax cut to the richest of the rich,” said Michael Kink, one of the march’s organizers. “The 99% will put this money to better use,” he added, referring to the activists’ discontent with the nation’s wealthiest one percent of people, who they say control economic and social policies.
Staten Island nurse Linda Cohen was walking up Fifth Avenue Tuesday when she stumbled upon the Upper East Side march and decided to join.
“I have a lot of pent-up anger,” Cohen, 57, said as she marched toward NewsCorp CEO Rupert Murdoch’s home. “It’s so unfair. Some people have too much power.”
After stopping at Murdoch’s Fifth Avenue residence, the march made its way up to the Park Avenue homes of oil tycoon David Koch, Emigrant Bank chairman Howard Milstein, hedge fund manager John Paulson and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon as protesters chanted, “Hey you, millionaires, pay your fair share!”
It was unclear if any of the bigwigs were home.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg — himself a billionaire — told reporters Tuesday that he understood some people’s frustration with the dismal economic outlook, but again criticized the protesters’ actions.
“I don’t appreciate the bashing of all of the hard-working people who live and work here and pay the taxes that support our city,” Bloomberg said at a news conference yesterday. “The reality is that our city depends on the jobs the financial services provides.”
The protesters don’t agree, or care. They plan to hold another rally this afternoon at Chase Manhattan Plaza, close to the base camp at Zuccotti Park.
When asked if he thought the five billionaires whose homes were visited yesterday were actually there, protester Jonathan Westin, 27, said, “I’m not holding my breath.”
But Westin, who led the throng of protesters that stretched for several city blocks, said, “I think they’ll definitely hear us.”
Follow reporters Marc Beja on Twitter: @Marc_Beja