Dozens of members of the New York Young Republicans Club jumped on the anti-Wall Street bandwagon Sunday, gathering in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park to blast the hedge-fund managers targeting GameStop.
The “Re-Occupy Wall Street” protesters ripped the big-money investors as “despicable” for moving to stop last week’s “little guy” Reddit-fueled run on the video-game-seller’s stock to shore it up after the money men bet on it tanking.
“There’s some blatant corruption going on in the buildings around us and in Greenwich, [Ct.], wherever hell they are,” Gavin Wax, the group’s president, told about 50 protesters.
“There’s two standards,” Wax said. “There’s rules for thee, not for me. You got these big hedge-fund guys who are trying to short companies into the ground, and then they got called on their bluff by a bunch of anonymous day traders on Reddit.
“And then they have the balls to call those guys unsophisticated,” he said. “God bless the little guy for making an honest buck and showing them how the market really works.”
Wax predicted that the deep-pocketed hedge-funders “are now going to cry and have their crocodile tears on CNBC and tell us, ‘Oh, you know, you’re manipulating the market.’
“These guys have been manipulating the market to their advantage for years. For years,” he said of the wealthy stock investors.
Sunday’s protest — fashioned after the left-leaning Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that began in the park in 2011 — stemmed from a move by some Wall Street hedge funds to bet on GameStop’s stock going down, prompting a Reddit push to buy it on trading apps such as Robinhood to keep it high.
The furious money-losing hedge funds then successfully lobbied Robinhood to temporarily halt trading on the stock to stem their losses.
The gaming store, once a staple at US shopping malls, was in serious decline before the populist run on its shares.
Robinhood was slapped with a class-action lawsuit in Manhattan last week for pulling the store’s stock from its trading options.
According to the Young Republicans, Sunday’s protest wasn’t about political affiliations — they dubbed it a non-partisan event.
“We need to take a stand today, tomorrow and every day that comes forward,” the Young Republicans’ vice president, Vish Burra, said at the rally. “[Wall Street is] corporatizing the American dream and making a mockery of American freedom.”
The group remained in the park for about two hours before disbanding.
Among those speaking at the rally was mayoral hopeful and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, who called it hypocritical that Wall Street bankers took billions of dollars in tax-funded bailouts in 2008, only to now cry foul.
“They screwed the little people once,” Sliwa said. “Lets get these hedge-fund monsters before they get us.”