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3. Because These Little One-Percenters Are Standing With the 99 Percent.

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An anonymous entry on We Stand With the 99 Percent, a Tumblr page Sophie Hagen helped launch.  

When Sophie Hagen graduated from Swarthmore last year, a friend gave her a book called Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use It for Social Change, by members of a group called the Resource Generation. It turned out to be an eye-opener. “It was like, ‘Have you ever lied about a second home that your parents have?’ ” she says. “ ‘Or dressed in thrift-store clothing because you didn’t want to appear rich?’ ” Hagen grew up in a Park Slope brownstone her family owns and attended Brearley in Manhattan. “I had never really thought about my situation,” she says. “Living in New York, it’s very easy to lie to myself, to say, ‘I grew up in Brooklyn.’ ” But as college came to a close and her peers began to worry about finding jobs, Hagen realized how lucky she was that she could afford to travel and take unpaid internships. “I thought, I need to really think about the gifts I’ve been given and how I can use them.

Occupy Wall Street presented her with an opportunity. When Hagen went down to Zuccotti Park this fall, she sometimes wore a sign that read, “Rich Kid for Redistribution. Tax Me!” One day, a picture of a similar sign held by another Resource Generation member went viral. “This gives me so much hope,” wrote one commenter. Inspired by the reaction, the group started a Tumblr page, We Stand With the 99 Percent, where others could post similar photographs of themselves holding signs with statements of support. Hundreds of self-described one-percenters responded, from trust-fund babies (“You would know our dad, if we told you who he was,” reads a sign held by two blonde twins) to people inside the system. “I work on Wall Street,” wrote one. “I am living, breathing affirmation of the fact that where and to whom you were born matters the most. Fuck that.”

From the beginning, when Robert S. Halper, a former vice-chairman­ of the New York Mercantile Exchange, donated $20,000 in seed money to help Adbusters kick off its project, the idea of Occupy Wall Street has been embraced by people from all points on the socioeconomic spectrum. Unemployed and homeless protesters have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with people like Daniel Barach, a former hedge-fund manager who appeared bearing a sign that read “Stop Tax Breaks for Hedge-Fund Managers.” Occupy spokesman Karanja Gaçuça, who worked as a Wall Street analyst until being laid off in September, says he often encounters his former colleagues, some of whom offer quiet words of encouragement. Publicly declared support from currently employed bankers, however, has been rare, though a few big names from the industry have expressed cautious sympathy for the movement. Ever self-flagellating Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit called the protesters’ sentiments “completely understandable,” and BlackRock billionaire Larry Fink told Bloomberg TV that he was “very happy with Occupy Wall Street,” then hedged by adding, “I’m not saying I agree.” Perhaps they could learn a thing or two from Sophie Hagen and her peers. “It’s amazing that people are putting their faces up there,” she says about contributors to the Tumblr page. “I think it’s a really scary process for them. It’s almost like coming out.”


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