Morgan McGivern | July 12, 2015
About 250 people protested a $5,000-a-plate fund-raiser for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo at the East Hampton Village house of Daniel Loeb, a billionaire hedge funder, on Saturday evening. Organized by the Hedge Clippers, a New York City organization working to expose how hedge funders influence government and politics, the peaceful gathering lasted about two hours. While police were prepared to handle the group, organizers were given a summons for not having the proper permit for the protest.
Dropped off in charter buses that had picked them up in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Brentwood, they marched about a half-mile down Highway Behind the Pond to Mr. Loeb’s house. Sometimes taking up most of the width of the street, they chanted “Cuomo, Cuomo, you can’t hide. We can see your greedy side,” and “Hey, Governor One Percent, who do you represent?” Two planes flew above flying signs, one of which said, “Hedge Funds = inequality.”
Protestors said they believe that Governor Cuomo is working closely with Republicans “to do the bidding of hedge funds and billionaire political donors,” according to a statement from Hedge Clippers.
Governor Cuomo reportedly arrived in a black sport utility vehicle at about 6:15 p.m., just after the protestors got into position across the street from Mr. Loeb’s house, behind police barricades. He stayed at the dinner in his honor only about an hour.
East Hampton Village police were prepared for the protest with extra manpower, barricades, and traffic control, Chief Gerard Larsen said organizers had not requested a permit nor had they responded to calls from the department for information about the plan. Michael Fink, an organizer with Hedge Clippers, was given a summons for failure to have a permit for public assembly of more than 50 people. Chief Larsen, who helped keep an eye on the protest Saturday, said the department knew only what it saw online and in the media. The protest had originally been planned on the beach at Two Mile Hollow, nearby.
Members of several other organizations took part including, VOCAL-NY and New York Communities for Change, the Alliance for Quality Education, and Puerto Rican activists. “Loeb and other hedge fund leaders who donate massive sums to Cuomo and Republicans have also been heavily involved in fueling Puerto Rico’s bancruptcy,” Hedge Clippers said in a statement.
As the protest was winding down, the group marched a few more hundred feet down to Wiborg’s Beach, where some took a break from protesting to take a dip in the ocean. Before they left, the group gathered for a photo with Mr. Loeb’s estate in the background while they held a large sign that read, “Dan Loeb + Andrew Cuomo = Explosive inequality #HedgeClippers.”
Just as the protest was ending, 60 boxes of pizza ordered from Pepperoni’s in East Hampton arrived for the group as they headed west.