It’s a popular question when reading stories about the Occupy Wall St. protesters: Who are they? Well, now the British paper The Daily Mail is helping answer that question. The answer? Some of them seem to be quite privileged.
“A closer look at some of the impassioned protesters is starting to suggest that while many of them have genuine grievances,” the Daily Mail writes, “all may not be completely as advertised. “
Here’s what it means:
Among the hardcore of well-intentioned protesters sleeping rough in Zuccotti Park are also the children of the wealthiest ‘one per cent’ – taking a break from classes at private schools to show their solidarity… and join the fun.
As millionaire celebrities pledged allegiance to the protesters despite very healthy bank balances, MailOnline spoke to youngsters who have joined the movement, many of whom study at colleges which cost their parents up to $200,000.
Sleeping beside the hardcore activists are increasing numbers of wealthy students turning up to make the most of the party atmosphere, drugs and free food.
While they dress down to blend in, the youngsters’ privileged backgrounds are revealed by glimpses of expensive gadgetry or the absent minded mention of their private schools during heated political debates.
One student, who did not want to be named, admitted she had been sleeping at the protest site with her boyfriend despite living in nearby TriBeCa, a neighbourhood which is home to many of New York’s A list celebrities.
While she is not camping out, she studies at Bard College in Manhattan – a private school which charges fees of up to $200,000 for a four-year degree.
Other youngsters – some of whom as young as 16 – travelled from afar to make the most of a day off high school because of Columbus Day.
One of the students who joined in, an arts major at trendy Parsons design school in New York, flicked through pictures on her pricey laptop as she sat on the park floor.
Another listened to a speech and chanted along with furious activists while wearing a pair of True Religion jeans – which are marketed on their website at about $300.
Now certainly just because your parents are paying for an expensive education doesn’t mean you can’t be upset with tax loopholes. Or capitalism. Or expensive broccoli. But it does seem slightly hypocritical to rail against the rich, corporations, and the rich when those things are funding you or at least the cool gadgets you’re carrying around.
Read the full article here and see the pictures.