Pitchfork-wielding protesters hit the streets in some of Long Island’s most affluent communities to condemn the rise in income equality.
Chants of “tax the rich, not the poor!’ could be heard from more than 100 drivers and 200 marchers who hit the Hamptons of some of Long Island’s wealthiest residents.
According to reports, former New York City Mike Bloomberg’s $20 million Southampton mansion was near the epicenter of the protests.
Reports said that the protesters are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to hike taxes on New York's billionaires to make up for the chaos wreaked on the state’s budget during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The protests came after Cuomo said there could potentially be cuts to funding for schools, police, hospitals, and housing agencies if states don’t get federal assistance to help offset a budget shortfall that could top $15 billion in New York.
“They take our land to build golf courses, profit from the ravages of COVID-19, buy politicians, exploit our labor and give money to the cops that continue to brutalize us,” organizers of the protest said. “Rather than raise taxes on the rich who can afford it, (Gov. Andrew) Cuomo makes schools, hospitals and those who need housing, pay — then keeps the budget for the police state intact."
A Forbes report found that New York’s billionaires have seen a collective net worth increase of nearly $45 billion during the pandemic. The combined wealth of all U.S. billionaires has surged by $584 billion, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.
“Billionaires are experts in social distancing,” New York Communities for Change, which organized the protests, posted on social media. “They’ve chosen to live in their own world and are separate from realities of everyday people and the people whose lives they have a tremendous impact on.
“We shouldn’t be cutting services when New York billionaires got richer during the COVID-19 crisis,” organizers said. “So we brought plastic ‘pitchforks’ to the Hamptons to demand those sheltering in the summer homes pay their fair share.”
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