Correction: The headline and first paragraph of this story have been updated to correct the location of the protest. It took place at a restaurant in Lawrenceville, N.J., not at a bar in Princeton, N.J.
Protesters participating in the Occupy the Highway march from New York to Washington nearly clashed last night with a group of high-school and college students at a restaurant in Lawrenceville, N.J.
The confrontation began after Princeton student Whitney Blodgett started to yell at the marchers as they passed by the bar. “We’re the 1 percent!” Blodgett yelled at them, laughing and making a thumbs up sign. “Get a job!” his friends yelled in chorus.
Paulomarco, a marcher who recently left the New York Institute of Technology because the tuition was too expensive, shot back, “We have jobs!” Paulomarco would not give his last name.
“The fact is, America is a society that values skill,” said Blodgett, after calming down. “If I was in their position and didn’t have a skill or job, I guess I’d do the same thing.”
Among the jobs the marchers say they hold or recently held are EMT, playwright, writer, truck driver, executive assistant and photographer. Several more are students, and a few are unemployed.
When the marchers arrived in New Brunswick, N.J. on Thursday, nearly 100 people turned out to support them as they assembled at Rutgers University. At Princeton, only one person, a female freshman student, came out in support.
“That’s what happens when you come to a campus of i-bankers,” the student, who did not give her name, said. “Princeton students are benefiting from this system, so why would they protest?”
Update, Nov. 12: An earlier version of this post misspelled Whitney Blodgett’s name. The reporter was supplied with incorrect information.
Update, Nov. 21: A number of Princeton residents and students have written in to express that they support Occupy, and that they do not think the Princeton students depicted in this post represent the entire community.
(See the main Occupy the Highway blog for the latest news on the march.)