Protests Planned At Hamptons Billionaires' Homes

Lisa Finn

EAST HAMPTON, NY — A group of activists is taking a protest against billionaires to their front door.

Social justice organizations, as well as some members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, will take part in a Hamptons Billionaires Car Caravan Protest, scheduled for Wednesday at the Hamptoms homes of billionaires.

Some attending are expected to carry large signs and inflatable "pitchforks" from a Halloween store to the protest.

A Facebook post announcing the event read: "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. Rather than raise taxes on the rich who can afford it, Governor Andrew Cuomo makes schools, hospitals and those who need housing, pay — then keeps the budget for the police state intact."

Those heading to the East End will meet in the parking lot of Stony Brook Southampton College at noon and protest at homes owned by the wealthy in the Hamptons, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in Southampton, real estate developer Stephen Ross in Southampton, businessman Steven Schwartzman in Water Mill, and hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb in East Hampton, organizers said.

The protest will be live-streamed here.

The event will include groups including the New York Communities for Change, the Long Island Progressive Coalition, the Alliance for Quality Education of New York, Voices of Community Activists & Leaders, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, and Long Island Activists.

The Shinnecock Nation Council reached out to Patch to explain that the Nation, as a whole, is not involved with the protest — just a few individual tribal members from the graves' protection committee who have rallied in the past to protect sacred burial grounds and other land that they believe should be returned to the Shinnecock tribe.

"Members of the Shinnecock Nation were invited to participate in the caravan and intend to seek redress from the billionaires who have homes on stolen Indian land in the Shinnecock Hills," said Tela Troge of the Shinnecock Nation, who has rallied to protect ancestral burial grounds.

More than 200 New Yorkers are expected to board buses to attend the protest. Organizers contend that New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo "refuses to support higher taxes on wealthy — instead choosing to cut 20 percent from nurses, teachers and firefighters."

According to those protesting, data from the Public Accountability Initiative said that during the pandemic, the net worth of New York's 118 billionaires increased by $44.9 billion, or 8.6 percent, from March 18 to May 15. At the same time, the data said, more than two million are unemployed, with individuals from black and brown communities "suffering the most," and facing disproportionate health impacts due to the virus.

This article originally appeared on the East Hampton Patch