A veteran Wall Street trader and Mitt Romney campaign contributor is also the single largest financial supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City.
Robert S. Halper, now retired at 52, first learned of the planned protests in June during a steak dinner with Kalle Lasn, the editor in chief of the Canadian activist magazine “Adbusters,” which sparked what it hoped would grow into an Arab Spring-like movement.
Halper, reports The New York Times
, has been a frequent visitor at the protests, where he asks participants about their views on financial reform.
“The whole thing is very surreal to me — the fact that I spent my whole career right across the street,” Halper told the Times in an interview at Zuccotti Park, epicenter of the protests. “It makes me a little anxious, to tell you the truth. It could go anywhere. I just pray that it ends peaceful.”
Halper has donated as much as $75,000 to “Adbusters” over the past two decades. But the wealthy Manhattan resident, also gave the maximum allowed contribution of $2,500 to Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney’s campaign.
He also believes people like himself should pay more in taxes.
“If there’s pain, it should be shared,” Halper said. “The people who have money — they should pay something more, whether that’s in taxes or somewhere else.”
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