DALLAS - Eighty demonstrators gathered outside the Hilton Anatole luxury hotel Sept.18 to clarify understanding of the true program of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party this year.
It cost $2,500 to go inside with Romney, $25,000 to get a photo with the candidate, and $50,000 to eat dinner with him.
Outside, we noted the brands of cars going in: A Jaguar, a Porshe, a Cadillac, a Corvette, a Bentley... Some extremely wealthy people were going into the hotel. Nearly all of them were old and white. Some had chauffeurs. Most of them pointedly ignored us, but some stared at us. We stared at all of them, and often broke out into song, "Shame shame shame..."
I've picketed that particular hotel many times.
The number of independent union activists was noticeable.There were a couple of Ironworkers, some Food & Commercial Workers, some Autoworkers, and some Transport Workers that I recognized. The AFL-CIO's seniors' group, Alliance for Retired Americans, took a prominent spot for their banner on the corner. Some of the other groups were MoveOn, Occupy Dallas, and Code Pink.
The Code Pink people have decided to masquerade as billionaires at just about every protest nowadays. They wear outlandish versions of luxury evening clothes, smoke big fake cigars, and carry incredible signs with slogans like "Help Billionaires Increase the Wealth Gap" and "The Class War is On and We're Winning."
Some of the other protesters don't appreciate the fun-loving Code Pink group because they get a lot of attention from the media and trivialize the issues, but you have to give them credit for originality.
One of their billionaire chants is, "Let Freedom Ring, Ka-Ching, Ka-ching!"
You have to credit Code Pink for courage under fire, too. A couple of very aggressive young Romney supporters from nearby Framers Branch (famous for racism) brought a giant "Romney for President" sign right into the middle of our protest.
Then they did their best to start quarrels with the honest protesters, but failed.
Instead, little Leslie Ramsey of Code Pink brought one of her satirical billionaire signs right underneath their poster. The rest of Code Pink then surrounded the Romney supporters and left the impression, for anybody who saw them, that they were all part of the same big satire!
The larger part of the protest carried more direct signs and yelled straightforward chants. "Up with Education, Down with Deportation!" "Stop the War on Women!" and my personal favorite, based doubly on the Occupy chant that has become so familiar over the past year and Romney's latest big blooper, "We Are the 47 percent!"
Photo: Jim Lane/PW