Occupy Wall Street Protests President Obama's Fundraising Event In New York City
Occupy Wall Street may no longer have a home in Zuccotti Park -- but that doesn't mean they're done protesting around New York.
A few hundred demonstrators marched on midtown Wednesday night where they met police barricades at 53rd street and Seventh Avenue, not far from the Sheridan Hotel where President Obama was holding a pricey campaign fundraiser.
Obama's night in the city included three money-raising stops-- a small gathering at a private home, then a $35,800 a plate dinner at Gotham Bar and Grill, and finished with a holiday reception at the Sheridan.
Demonstrators held signs that leveled some of the Occupy protest's most pointed criticism to date of the president. "Obama is a corporate puppet," one said. "War crimes must be stopped, no matter who does them," read another, beside head shots of President George W. Bush and President Obama.
"It's not so much about left and right as up and down in this country," organizer Mark Bray told WNYC. "Ultimately, regardless of which party we're talking about, whether it be the Republicans or the Democrats, there's a serious issue of conflict of interest when we have politicians who derive a large percentage of their campaign contributions from financial institutions and corporations who they're supposed to be regulating."
At one point, a couple protesters tried to break through the police barricade but were quickly pushed back.
During a New Hampshire speech last week, which was interrupted by Occupy protesters, Obama noted that his goals are in line with the movement's.
"A lot of the folks who have been down in New York and all across the country, in the Occupy movement, there is a profound sense of frustration," the president said. "This is a place where your hard work and your responsibility is supposed to pay off. It's supposed to be a big, compassionate country where everybody who works hard should have a chance to get ahead -- not just the person who owns the factory, but the men and women who work on the factory floor."