As protesters in Sri Lanka spent the weekend splashing around in the pool of their now-missing president, a few dozen people stormed the Hamptons to throw a little class war closer to home.
On Monday, activists blockaded an entrance to the East Hampton airport and chanted about taxing the rich (who are also destroying the planet) while people with roller luggage hurried by uncomfortably. This was shortly before a Gulfstream 6, one of the many secretly held private planes registered to oligarchs and billionaires through the Bank of Utah, landed at the airport. (Welcome!)
The airport demonstration was the latest in a weekend-long string of anti-billionaire protests that kicked off Friday, as activists from New York Communities for Change and citizens of the Shinnecock Nation blocked traffic in Southampton Village. Come Saturday, they were at the quasi-public Cooper’s Beach in Southampton, where one bone of contention — besides that the rich are killing everyone — was a lack of free beach access for tribal members, who are charged the $50 daily parking rate for nonresidents; since the land is theirs, you can see why that might burn! Nearly 200 people showed up. By Sunday, the group was back to blocking traffic — this time in East Hampton, their pink “tax the rich” banner holding up the cars trying to find a spot on Main Street. (Maybe to go to the J.Crew. Unclear.)
You can’t buy a garbage can for under a million bucks in the Hamptons right now. For years, these towns had townies — normal people in normal houses with normal jobs. That’s ending.
The New York Post says it’s finding day laborers living in horrible conditions in the woods of Southampton, and an outreach worker says there’s nowhere else for them to go.
Sag Harbor, at least, is beginning a “long and comprehensive review process” to consider building 79 apartments above commercial space in town. We’ll check back in a decade.
In better news, the rich are apparently suffering too — people who snapped up Hamptons houses in the pandemic and made prices boom are now suffering due to lack of tenants to fund their new mortgages, according to Corcoran broker Debbie Loeffler: “The rental market is basically nonexistent.”