Protesters near New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel. (Liz Goodwin/Yahoo)
A group of about 150 protesters, some dressed in formal wear, marched around New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Wednesday afternoon where Mitt Romney appeared for a $2,500-a-plate fundraising luncheon.
As police and secret service guarded the entrances to the luxury hotel, Occupy Wall Street protesters derided Romney as "Mr. 1 Percent" and waved signs criticizing both Obama and Romney for favoring Wall Street banks. ("Mittrack Obamney 2012--Wall Street Always Wins," one sign read.) "We're here, we're rich, get used to it," the formally-attired protesters chanted sarcastically.
Diana Lutzak, who lost her job last month at a clothing store, said she was protesting Romney's rhetoric on birth control. "Romney does not have the right to tell me what my reproductive rights are," she told Yahoo News.
Margaret Passley, a 48-year-old homecare worker who immigrated from Jamaica 13 years ago, said she was angry at the low tax rate Romney pays and that he uses offshore accounts for some of his money. "He thinks he pays 15 percent? Fifteen percent is nothing, I pay 26 percent," Passley said.
Marni Halasa, a professional figure skater and instructor, wore a silver sparkling outfit with a tiny feathered hat that said "1 percent" in sequins. Halasa said she was partly motivated to demonstrate after reading about a Berkeley economic study on a socialist web site that showed that 93 percent of income gains in 2010 went to Americans in the top 1 percent of the income distribution. Halasa stood near a group of protesters who were asked to write down jobs they were laid off from on coffin-shaped pieces of construction paper, which were then tossed into a make-shift jug labeled "Job Cremator" by protesters wearing Romney masks.
Halasa and other protesters march by the Waldorf-Astoria. (Liz Goodwin/Yahoo)