This is a report from the Metropolitan Washington Labor Council by Chris Garlock and Julia Kann.
More than 1,200 labor and community activists turned out in force at two demonstrations Friday outside the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Chanting “Whose America? Our America!” as many as 700 labor and community activists shut down Woodley Road at noon with an impromptu sit-in and a brief take-over of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel driveway.
Well-heeled CPAC attendees gawked as the huge crowd turned Woodley Road into a multi-hued street festival of music, “Occupy”-style tents, the snappily-attired “Tax Dodgers” and their giant “Mitt.”
“I want Romney and CPAC to stop giving tax breaks to the rich and create good jobs for the District,” said District resident John Butler of OurDC.
We want them to see us, hear us, and feel us. We are the 99 percent.
Added retired DC School District counselor Sandra SV Williams:
I’m here to fight for jobs, unity, and to keep the union intact.
Later Friday afternoon, as darkness and temperatures fell, Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Local 1994 kicked off the evening demo by parading their “golden throne” – a gold-painted toilet – in front of the Marriott Wardman, “representing (Wisconsin Governor Scott) Walker’s greed and arrogance,” UFCW Local 1994 President Gino Renne said.
The crowd swelled to 500 or more union rank-and-file, Occupy DC activists and community supporters, as limos slowly made their way in and out of the conference, accompanied by chants of “What’s disgusting? Union-busting!” and “We are the 99 percent!”