Romney Fundraisers in Hamptons Met with Protests
Around 150 protesters were outside a Southampton fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The fundraiser was held at the home of New York businessman David Koch. The demonstrators shouted “Money out, voters in” as well as “We are the 99 percent.”
Earlier that day Romney supporters went to an afternoon fundraiser at the East Hampton estate of businessman Ron Perelman. There were also a group of protesters outside who held signs condemning the event. Two boaters were arrested by authorities on charges of violating police orders. Another Republican fundraiser was hosted by Clifford Sobel, an ambassador to Brazil under the administration of President George W. Bush.
The demonstration outside the Koch estate was organized by a coalition of liberal groups. Some of the groups involved were the Occupy movement, MoveOn.org, and the Long Island Progressive Coalition. Most of the protestors said that the demonstration was more about what they observe as a broken political system and not about Romney or partisan politics.
A protester said that both Romney and President Obama should reject contributions made by big-money donors. People should not spend $50,000 for a meal to buy influence. That amount can support a family.
Most of the protesters came from Manhattan on buses. They walked to around three quarters of a mile from Koch’s estate. Even if they were far from the estate, attendees can see them. The protesters were later allowed to go on the beach and go near the Koch property.
New York State Police Captain David Candelaria said that there were no arrests made during the protests and he compromised with the organizers to allow the demonstration without disruption. According to one protester, a state police broke her car window so that they can investigate a small box with the label dynamite in the trunk of the car. But police found non-harmful items in the box, such as bug spray and toothbrush.