Occupy Wall St. Targets Homes of Corporate Executives
Rupert Murdoch, Jamie Dimon, David Koch among billionaires targeted
The news that Occupy Wall St. would to target the ritzy Manhattan homes of well-to-do corporate executives brought mixed reaction at Zuccotti Park from protesters and observers Tuesday, after key organizers announced the plan at an afternoon press conference.
“From what I can tell, none of the protests so far have really been divisive but this seems just that,” said Agatha Patterson, a casual observer. “This seems unnecessary.”
A protester who gave his name only as “Ben” hadn’t known about the plan, but echoed a similar sentiment, adding that he has been skeptical about certain developments.
“I’ve been wondering for a while now: Is this becoming a spectacle?” he said. “You hear little whispering like people getting offered money, people writing books and certain people becoming quasi-celebrities – and you wonder if the entire thing is losing its soul.
“It’s getting bigger, and that’s great. But is bigger better, is the question.”
Several hundred marchers reportedly marched past the Upper East Side abodes of Rupert Murdoch, Jamie Dimon and David Koch, among others. They apparently did not target the Upper East Side home of Mayor Bloomberg, who, for his part, has struck a rather conciliatory tone with the protests.
The crowd's chants, signs and songs decried as an injustice public spending cuts they say disproportionately harm the poor and middle class even as a tax surcharge on New York state's top earners is due to expire at year-end.
"We're putting the burden of our economy on the shoulders of senior citizens, veterans and the middle class while CEOs and corporations don't pay their fair share of taxes," Raimundo Valdes, a surgical technician from the Bronx and political organizer for the union SEIU 1199, said as protesters gathered at the southern edge of Central Park today prior to setting off.
The march uptown on Tuesday dovetailed with news of a most interesting irony: Wall St., too, was to lose scores of jobs in the coming months. New York state comptroller Thomas DeNapoli released a report that the financial industry had lost nearly 4,100 jobs in the late spring and summer -- and could lost as much as 10,000 more by the end of 2012.