It may not be surprising to see the Occupy slogan plastered on t-shirts or signs in Zuccotti Park, but on the back of a car worth more than $50,000? That is likely to turn some heads.
A baby blue Mercedes-Benz convertible parked on Washington, D.C.'s streets with "OCCUPY" on its license plate did just that. The patent attorney that owns the car, which is more synonymous with the one percent lifestyle than activists protesting and sleeping in a park, told DCist that despite the seeming contradiction between his fancy car and the protesters' goals, he "admires the movement."
"Of course, I realized that putting those tags on a Mercedes would be a huge contradiction, but I thought that it might attract attention (voila!) to the fact that there are actually 1-percent sympathizers for the 99 percent," he wrote in an email to DCist.
Though the patent attorney's support may shock some, he's just one of the many one-percenters that have publicly backed causes related to those associated with the occupy movement. A group of wealthy Americans, calling themselves "the patriotic millionaires," took to Capitol Hill late last year to ask Congress to raise taxes on people like themselves.
In addition, a variety of super rich celebrities have also voiced support for the anti-Wall Street movement. Richard Branson, who heads The Virgin Group and has an estimated worth of more than $4 billion, said the protesters “have good reason to demonstrate.”
Other big names have also expressed solidarity with the movement, including the late John Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, comedian David Letterman and writer Stephen King. An October survey found that 68 percent of millionaires support raising taxes on people who earn $1 million or more in income.
Some have even profited off of their support. Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z started selling t-shirts with the words “Occupy All Streets” through his label RocaWear late last year, but did not officially pledge any proceeds to the protesters.
And one of the movement's most ardent supporters also has a nine-figure net worth. Russell Simmons, music tycoon and author of Super Rich: A Guide To Having It All, has made appearances and spoken at multiple Occupy rallies. “It's part of human kindness and I feel it is my moral duty to do this," he said in November of his support for the Occupy movement. "You give what you get."