It’s high season in the Hamptons, and the hedgerows are mighty green and mysterious. Behind them lie the secrets of the ultra-rich.
This Saturday, down on Highway Behind the Pond in East Hampton Village, a mass of more than 250 protesters, many of them educators from New York City, gathered along a street lined with those mysterious hedgerows with placards plastered with pictures of red hedge trimmers.
They weren’t there to cut the hedges. They were there to let Governor Andrew Cuomo know that they knew that he was attending a $5,000-per-plate fundraiser at the home of hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb, the founder of the hedge fund Third Point, LLC.
Mr. Loeb, known as an activist investor who buys troubled companies, replaces their management teams and restores them to profitability, is also the Chairman of the Board of Success Academy Charter Schools in Brooklyn.
Protesters, many of whom were public school teachers, said they want Mr. Cuomo to turn his attention back to public schools and stop supporting the state’s charter school system.
The group of protesters, who call themselves the Hedgeclippers, said in a statement that Mr. Loeb is “A top financial backer of Republicans in New York and nationally” and “has funded efforts to prevent higher taxes on the rich, to privatize public schools, and to block wage increases, harming working people in the process.”
Standing behind police barricades with a backdrop of hedges twice the height of the protesters, the group carried signs that read “Hedge Funds=Inequality” and “Hedge Funds Stole Our Pensions,” and sang chants ranging from “Cuomo, Cuomo, you can’t hide. We can see your greedy side,” to the Spanish protest chant ‘el pueblo unido jamas sera vencido’: the people, united, will never be defeated.
Puerto Rican activists were also on-hand to criticize the growing interest of hedge funds in Puerto Rico’s troubled finances.
They also hired a banner plane with the Hedgeclippers logo on it to fly above Mr. Loeb’s party.
The group, which also included members of New York Communities for Change and the Alliance for Quality Education, then boarded five buses to return home to the five boroughs and Brentwood.