Hundreds of pitchfork-wielding protesters gathered outside billionaires’ Hamptons mansions to demand a wealth tax

hamptons pitchforks protest

Hundreds of protesters marched through the Hamptons Thursday with pitchforks calling for a tax on New York’s wealthiest citizens.
The protesters called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to raise taxes on New York’s wealthiest residents to avoid further budget cuts to schools and hospitals amid a budget deficit spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
Although big-name proponents including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abigail Disney claim a special tax on millionaires could solve budget shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic, economists largely disagree.

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Hundreds of New Yorkers wielding pitchforks marched through the Hamptons Thursday, demanding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo raise the taxes of the area’s ultrawealthy vacationers.

Over 200 attended the march that was organized by a coalition of activist groups including New York Communities for Change, New York Communities for Change, News Guild (CWA), and Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, according to a statement emailed to Business Insider.

The economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus crisis has strengthened calls for a wealth tax, especially in New York, where Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex has proposed a special state tax on the ultrawealthy. The proposal has the support of at least 83 ultrawealthy people, including Ben & Jerry’s cofounder Jerry Greenfield and Disney heiress Abigail Disney, who penned an open letter arguing that such a tax would “ensure we adequately fund our health systems, schools, and security … immediately. Substantially. Permanently.”

Cuomo shot down the idea, saying that it would drive New York’s 118 billionaires out of state. At the same time, the governor announced cuts to state funding for schools, public housing, and hospitals amid a budget crisis brought on by the coronavirus crisis, sparking protests. Thursday’s march was the second protest in the Hamptons featuring pitchforks this month. The pitchforks used in the July 1 event were plastic ones purchased from a Halloween store, Patch reported at the time.

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The protesters made stops outside the Hamptons homes of several billionaires, including investor Daniel Loeb, real-estate developer Steven Roth, and Hudson Yards developer Stephen Ross. All three are Cuomo donors, per The Guardian.

Outside Loeb’s East Hampton mansion, State Senator candidate Jabari Brisport said, “If there is one thing that makes me more mad than billionaires, it’s billionaires like Dan Loeb that push and advocate for charter schools,” as seen in a video of the speech posted to Twitter. “I’m sick of the attacks on our public school children, and I’m sick of people like this donating to Andrew Cuomo so he can sit there in Albany twiddling his thumbs about how to deal with this budget deficit.”

Thank you ⁦@JabariBrisport⁩ for coming to to the Hamptons with us to pay a visit to Dan Loeb, the Cuomo donor and billionaire who has used his billions to attempt to privatize our Public Schools. #MakeBillionairesPay

— New York Communities for Change (@nychange) July 30, 2020

At another point during the march, protesters could be seen beating drums …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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