Wall Street occupiers brought their message to the Upper East Side this afternoon for the Millionaire's March, visiting the homes of some of New York's wealthiest residents. Hundreds of protesters—escorted by a large police and media presence—made their way up Fifth Avenue from 59th Street, prompting doormen to lock entryways as they marched past one posh co-op after another. "Where's my bailout?" and "Tax the rich!" shouted protesters trying to draw attention to Governor Cuomo's refusal to renew the so-called "millionaire's tax." Simultaneously, New York will cut funding for hospitals, schools, housing programs, public assistance, and other public services. "The 99% will put this money to better use," said one woman addressing the crowd. And just before beginning the march up Fifth Avenue she added, "Those who do not move do not notice their chains. We are moving! We are the 99%!"
The first stop on the tour was at 834 Fifth Avenue, where humble billionaire and News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch owns the triplex penthouse he picked up for a modest $44 million in 2004. At 740 Park Avenue, home of New York's richest man and Tea Party bankroller David Koch, a man exiting a chauffeured black Mercedes instructed protesters to "get the fuck out of the way," so he could make his way to the front door. Police cleared a path and ushered the man into the building prompting one protester to ask, "Why don't I have this kind of security where I need it in the Bronx?" which drew a quick and disdainful response from the Park Avenue dweller: "Because you're not rich!"
A 40 year resident of the Upper East Side, Elaine Gifford, said, "I sympathize with [the demonstrators], but wish they would class it up a bit! All this racket with the drums... I can't take it seriously! It's just obnoxious." Her husband, Tom, paused with his walker and chirped, "Elaine, did you see the one who just went by with her tits out?" Point taken.
Unfazed by haughty criticism and raised eyebrows behind Chanel sunglasses, marchers moved further uptown to the Park Avenue home of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and finally to the palatial 86th Street townhouse of billionaire hedge fund titan John Paulson. There, a giant replica of a check for $5 billion with the payee listed at "the 99%" was left at his doorstep after repeated knocks went unanswered. Promising to return for a thank you note, the crowd dispersed.