On the 6th of January, Code Pink lampooned and significantly disrupted a GOP dinner celebrating their takeover of both houses of Congress staged by the ” Republican Jewish Coalition.” Jewish members of Code Pink called that group out for not representing them as Jews and favoring Israel over the values of their own religion. Senator Sheldon Adelson, a casino billionaire with a reputation for bribery and money laundering was one of the scheduled guests. Another was Dick Cheney. Code Pink caught Karl Rove and Sen McCain at the door and made them run a gauntlet of protesters.
Security was a joke for an event with so many GOP bigwigs in $1200 suits in attendance. The dinner was rumored to cost $1,000 a plate, yet at least three members of Code Pink managed to get inside before being noticed and escorted out. It took the police a long time to show up while the tiny security force repeatedly put their hands on Code Pink in a barely sucessful effort to keep control of the doors. I do not know if Code Pink would have responded to a total absence of security by taking the whole event indoors or not, but I do know that such a weak but physically aggressive response like this to many protests I have participated in would have been considered an invitation to storm the building.
Had this protest been staged by Occupy DC, by DC Ferguson, or by IMF protesters facing same onsite security, behavior by security, and police response time, the entire protest would probably have taken place inside the building, ending the event. As it was, Code Pink’s bullhorns, speakers, and chants were probably loud enough to be heard all the way to the back of the restaurant. John McCain nearly found himself surrounded by Code Pink when he left the event, no doubt after collecting his campaign cash from organizers and lesser attendees who paid that $1,000 a plate. Time and again war criminals and corrupt politicians were identified by protesters on the way in or out and made to run the gauntlet.
This was one of the most up close and personal protests against Republicans I have seen in years, possibly since the November 2011 siege of the Koch-funded “Defending the American Dream” conference by Occupy DC. As I got home I heard news reports that Obama had vowed to veto what was to be the very first GOP bill in the Senate, a bill to ram through the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Shortly therafter I saw a report that the Wednesday hearing in the Dirksen Sen Office Building for that bill has been cancelled. Looks like the GOP is in for a rough two years as the people obstruct and oppose their agenda with every possible took in the toolbox!
Code Pink mocks Cheney’s status as an internationally-recognized war criminal who cannot travel outside the US without risking arrest
Code Pink’s stand-in for Senator Sheldon Adelson, here called out for the same behavior that just sent former Va GOP Governor Bob McDonnell to prison for a two year term