NEW YORK — Hundreds of protesters, emboldened by the growing national Occupy Wall Street movement, streamed through midtown Manhattan on Tuesday in what they called a “Millionaires March.”
They marched two by two up the sidewalk, planning to pass the homes of some of New York City’s wealthiest residents. An organizer said they didn’t have a permit and wanted to avoid blocking pedestrian traffic.
“No Billionaire Left Behind,” said a placard hoisted by Arlene Geiger, who teaches economics at Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Protesters expressed concern about how much less the wealthy will pay — and who would be negatively affected — when New York’s 2 percent “millionaires’ tax” expires in December.
In the closest they’ve come to naming names, the protesters planned to visit the homes of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and oil tycoon David Koch, among others.
Protesters have been camped out for weeks in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street, saying they’re fighting for the “99 percent,” or the vast majority of Americans who do not fall into the wealthiest 1 percent of the population.
Their causes range from bringing down Wall Street to fighting global warming. The movement gained traction through social media, and protests have taken place in several other cities nationwide.
In Boston, hundreds of college students marched through downtown Boston on Monday and gathered on Boston Common, holding signs that read “Fund education, not corporations.”
The protesters are angry with an education system they say mimics “irresponsible, unaccountable, and unethical financial practices” of Wall Street.
About 50 protesters in Boston were arrested overnight after they ignored warnings to move from a downtown greenway near where they have been camped out for more than a week, police said.
Several hundred protesters were arrested in New York more than a week ago after police said they ignored warnings to stay in place. There was no word on any arrests in Tuesday’s protest in New York.
The protest comes as New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report showing that Wall Street is again losing jobs because of global economic woes, threatening tax revenue for a city and state heavily reliant on the financial industry.
“Excessive risk-taking on Wall Street was a major factor leading to the financial crisis and the recession,” DiNapoli said. “Regulatory changes that reduce risk and focus attention on long-term profitability rather than short-term gains will enhance stability.”
Christopher Guerra, a 27-year-old artist and Occupy Wall Street protester from Newark, N.J., said he thought the job losses weren’t necessarily bad.
“That means more people on our side,” said Guerra, who calls himself an Eisenhower Republican but says he’s opposed to today’s corporate behavior. “The companies are destroying this country by helping themselves, not the people, and pushing jobs out of America.
“If they get shafted, they will realize that what we are saying is true.”