VIDEO: Occupy, Union Members Protest Outside CPAC
Hundreds of young protesters and union workers swarmed the driveways of the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC, twice on Friday, “occupying” outside the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC.
The first protest kicked off around noon and was complete with an inflatable “fat cat,” tents, and banners. Protestors—largely comprised of members of Our DC, the Teamsters, United Auto Workers, the AFL-CIO, and Occupy DC—generally kept to the sidewalk away from the hotel’s entrance.
Protestors tried to gain entry to the conference hotel at one point but were largely blocked by police.
The second protest, later Friday evening, was intended to coincide with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s keynote address at CPAC. Police and hotel security formed a wall between CPAC attendees and protestors, who shout back and forth at each other, though the overall scene remained mostly peaceful. The only chant both sides agreed on was a simple: “USA! USA! USA!”
Around 6 p.m., after occupiers clashed briefly with police, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart made his way into the crowd and began verbally assailing the protesters, calling them “freaks and animals” and shouting “Stop raping people!” Campus Progress has exclusive video of the incident here.
In his speech, Walker said he was giving public employees the “right to choose” when he pushed through a law in 2011 that ended most collective bargaining rights for public workers.
Since then, Walker has remained an easy target against whom union members nationwide have organized. Making recall effort history, union organizers collected one million signatures in 60 days calling for Walker’s ouster.
Occupy DC is planning another protest for mid-day Saturday outside CPAC.
Naima Ramos-Chapman is an associate editor at Campus Progress.
Tara Kutz is a video communications associate at Campus Progress.