The March 16, 2011 protest against a fundraiser here in DC for Wisconsin’s GOP state legislators looked almost like April 16, 2000 as thousands besieged the event, took over streets-and a “suit block” managed to penetrate security and get inside!
During the first hour of the event, from time to time someone would be escorted out of the building by security with pro-labor signs. At one point, a large number of people in suits were escorted out-at first drawing boos. Only thing was, they were more pro-union activists, in suits and ties that make them difficult for security to keep from entering.
I have not seen a suit bloc used like this since the 1989 ambush of Roberto D’Aubisson’s convoy in the streets outside the Old Executive Office Building, in which the then dictator of El Salvador had his limo door wrenched open by screaming protesters in suits and ties the SS had mistaken for businessmen.
Drums and horns boomed and blared outside, no doubt encouraging indigestion of any food served to the enemies of the working class inside.
Eventually, the crowd swarmed into 13th st for a march to the White House, the ensuing march took up two blocks of the streets and was estimated by one participant at about 2,000 at that point.
After reminding Obama that is was not the GOP and the Tea Party that put him in office, some of the marchers decided to march back to 601 13th st. About a third of the march took the streets, this time over the futile objections of DC police, who blared sirens and begged protesters to stay on the sidewalk but did not engage in any violent or seriously aggressive action. After all, their union could be next the way the GOP is talking!
When the march arrived at 601 13th st, an alarm bell was ringing and two fire trucks showed up! A halligan (fireman’s axe) was seen as one firefighter approached the building. Interestingly, the first speaker as the protesters rallied was representative of firefighters in Wisconsin!
I do not know if the alarm was a fire alarm or if the fundraiser had to evacuate before we returned because of it, but this timing was interesting. Shit-worker’s rights are on fire in this country, and someone’s got to put it out. I guess it’s time the hoses were turned on the Tea Party, the source of ignition…