In Which They ‘Occupy’ Mitt Romney
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in town on Friday to fundraise at the Rittenhouse Hotel. Hosted by Philadelphia lawyer Charles Kopp, it was reported contributors were putting down $10,000 for a meal and another $2,500 for pictures with the former Massachusetts governor.
And since that’s the kind of money/spending that cartoon worlds are made of, Occupy Philly decided to hold their own photo op with Romney—specifically, a life-size paper cut out of the dude. Once upon a time, Romney passed universal healthcare in his home state and even supported abortion rights. More recently, he’s been reduced to arguing that “corporations are people, too.”
By the time I got there—4pm—about 100 protesters were standing on Rittenhouse Square’s west end with their bullhorns, signs and slogans. “There ain’t no power like the power of the people because the power of the people don’t stop,” they chanted. At least 20 police officers were there, too, guarding the hotel’s front driveway. Security guards were held up at the front door.
The rally, though valiant, showed some chips in its armor. For one thing, it wasn’t too loud. At least not as loud as others have been. Blame it on the end of the week, the changing of the seasons, the cold, whatever. Lots of Occupiers must’ve gotten sick from the season by now. At one point, one of the ralliers even told the group, which shrunk over the hour and a half they spent at the hotel, they weren’t cheering loud enough.
Individually, though, the message was consistent.
“It’s a slap in the face,” said Matthew, a protester, of the fundraiser. “That’s the one percent inside the building, paying to have their picture taken with Mitt Romney. We’re the 99 percent and we’re not going to take it sitting down, you know?”
Matthew said he can’t understand Romney’s flip-flops on issues over the last several years. “I guess he must just feel obligated to take [corporations’] side and give them big tax breaks and stuff, but I don’t really know why. It’s really confusing.”
A speaker told the group to pose for pictures alongside the Romney poster, though few did. Instead, a large group-shot was taken, with Romney in the Middle (which, note to Romney, would be a cool name for a reality show if the political thing doesn’t work out, again.)
A speaker told the crowd Mitt Romney should be ashamed for hiding behind police officers, saying he, like all politicians, work for the 1 Percent. The demonstration was determined to stay at the hotel until they were sure Romney was tucked away inside. No one ever saw him. A march back to Dilworth Plaza proceeded without incident.