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WATCH: Immigrant workers camp outside Bezos’ NYC apartment as part of AOC-sponsored campaign to tax billionaires

WATCH: Immigrant workers camp outside Bezos’ NYC apartment as part of AOC-sponsored campaign to tax billionaires
Dozens of immigrant workers have begun a joint 24-hour fast and sleep-out outside billionaire Jeff Bezos’ $16 million penthouse in Manhattan, to lobby New York authorities to tax the wealthy to help the pandemic-affected poor.

High-profile Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is among those behind a campaign to push New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to further tax the mega-rich in the state and use the revenue generated to help workers in need of assistance during the pandemic. 

Eyewitness footage from the scene shows the workers, joined by city council members, set up camp on Fifth Avenue near the Amazon-owner’s apartment.

Following the sleep-out protest, hundreds are expected to participate in a “march on billionaires” that will end at Cuomo’s Manhattan office on Friday.

The AOC-sponsored bill is aimed at taxing the unrealized capital gains of the state’s 119 billionaires to help make up for some of the state’s $13 billion budget shortfall and free up funds to help those most-impacted by the pandemic. 

It is just one of three ‘Robin Hood’ bills to take from the rich and give to the poor to be presented in a rare July sitting of the state legislature on Monday. 

Cuomo and his budget director, Robert Mujica, said such measures would drive out the city and the state’s wealthy and severely impact the tax base. New York already has among the highest tax rates for the wealthy, with the top two percent of high earners picking up half of the state’s tax liability.

Furthermore, AOC herself was one of the key figures behind the scuttling of Amazon’s plans to build one of its headquarters in Queens, which would likely have provided pandemic-proof employment, given how much the company has profited during the coronavirus era.

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Cuomo and Ocasio-Cortez have sparred recently, with the Bronx firebrand claiming that crime has risen in the city as people are unable to pay their rent and are thus fearful of eviction. Cuomo responded by reminding her of the state’s moratorium on evictions during the pandemic. 

New York was at one time the epicenter of the pandemic in both the US and the wider world and, at the time of writing, has recorded 430,000 cases, 185,000 of which are still active, and over 32,500 deaths.

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