UPDATE: ‘Millionaire’s Tax’ is top issue as protesters enter Capitol building

Around a hundred protesters formed a circle in the second-floor "War Room."

The heretofore deceased “Millionaire’s Tax” was the number one target of the “Occupy Albany” protesters this afternoon as they took over the “War Room” in the state Capitol.

Around a hundred protesters formed a circle in the second-floor room filled with murals depicting historic battles. The site is adjacent to the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was labeled as “Governor 1 percent” by the crowd that claims to represent the “99 percent.” During the entire protest and for essentially the entirety of the local “Occupy” movement, the governor has been in New York City.

Several speakers criticized Cuomo for blocking a bill that would tax New Yorkers making over $1 million a year at a higher rate while cutting aid to schools, colleges and the poor.

Sharmin Hossain, a 19-year-old University at Albany student from Queens, said that the governor has made good strides in some areas, but for the most part his negatives outweighed his positives. She said that his first action in the next legislative session should be to pass the millionaire’s tax.

Also under attack were critics of the movement, as Hossain mocked those who say the “Occupy” movements lack an agenda.

“Where are your demands?” she said, voicing a common critique. Then pointing to the room filled with signs advancing messages of peace, solidarity with Verizon workers and the millionaire’s tax, Hossain said, “I’m sorry, where aren’t our demands?”

The vast array of movements encompassed by the event was given voice, as one protester decried the country’s foreign policy, another spoke on behalf of organized labor and the rest addressed economic inequity.

Later, demonstrators cooperated with the state police and left the chamber.

Some went to join nearby striking Verizon workers and other protesters returned to their encampment in Academy Park. During the protest at least a dozen uniformed state troopers were monitoring the situation.

This story contained material from The Associated Press. Follow all our “Occupy Albany” and political coverage at @GazettePolitics on Twitter.

Categories: Schenectady County

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