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At least 16 people have been arrested since Friday during 'tax the rich' protests in the Hamptons

Hundreds of people joined "tax the rich" protests in the Hamptons.
New York Communities for Change
Hundreds of people joined "tax the rich" protests in the Hamptons.

Hundreds of people protested in the Hamptons over the weekend to bring attention to housing, climate change and beach access.

Demonstrators marched down the main streets of Southampton and East Hampton, carrying signs that read, “Tax the Rich.” They called for increasing taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers to fund affordable housing and to fight climate change.

"The wealthy of this town are directly responsible for the effects of climate change," a protester yelled from a road blockade. "And that is an unavoidable fact. You are hiding here from the world that you are killing and the people in it.”

More than a dozen protesters, including Shinnecock elder Rebecca Genia, have been arrested since Friday for blocking roads. They were charged with disorderly conduct and then released to await a future court date.

Six more people were arrested blocking access to East Hampton Airport, which is used by private jets and helicopters.

"They want billionaires to pay their fair share," said Tela Troge, a Shinnecock attorney and activist.

"They feel that billionaires should be taxed in order to fund programs that would help us alleviate a lot of the damage that we're facing from climate change.

People also rallied in support of members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, who seek to reclaim beach access near their tribal territory in Southampton.

Protests to support the Shinnecock Grave Protection Warrior Society continue Monday to preserve their sacred tribal burial sites in Hamptons neighborhoods.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.