By Matthew Katz, Ben Fractenberg and Tom Liddy
MANHATTAN — About 100 Occupy Wall Street protesters rallied near the Midtown Hotel where President Barack Obama hosted a top-dollar fundraising dinner Wednesday night.
The protesters, who were evicted from their Lower Manhattan encampment at Zuccotti Park earlier this month, played drums and held up signs near the Sheraton, on Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street, amid a sea of cops.
Tickets for the event, one of several held in the city Wednesday, ranged from $1,000 to nearly $36,000-a-plate, according to the New York Observer.
"I used to build $30 million homes, then I broke my back, and when I came back to work, there's no jobs," said Chris Allen, 36, a construction worker from Long Island.
"In my personal opinion, I think they're laughing at us."
Caroline Kogut, 24, of Long Island, who is unemployed, said that the money for the dinner would be better spent on creating jobs.
"There's no jobs, I'm out of work," she said. "Take that money [that's being spent to get in to the Obama fundraiser] and put it into jobs."
And for Desiree DeLoach, 27, from Orlando, Fla., the rally was a symbol that the movement, although shaken by the eviction, was here to stay.
"We're here because we're still up in their face," she said. "We're not going anywhere."