Tales from the Trail

The 99 percent comes out to protest Romney in Seattle

March 2, 2012

Republican Mitt Romney has rarely faced a critical mass of protesters during his months-long campaign for the White House. But then, he doesn’t often visit the Left Coast. And protesters were out in force in Seattle on Thursday night when Romney held a fundraiser at a civic center in Bellevue, Washington, near Seattle, attended by the local political establishment and well-heeled locals.

The complex holding the event also contained the upscale “Shops at the Bravern” mall. After the event fund-raisers could have slipped out to pick up a few items at Hermes, Louis Vuitton or Jimmy Choo.

About 100 protesters turned up for a spirited but peaceful demonstration with signs, props and inventive chants, including some of those who have participated in the Occupy Wall Street movement. A cardboard cutout of the candidate was on the scene, holding a sign that said “Of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent.” Various protesters were dressed as buildings to illustrate Romney’s “corporations are people” meme.

Among the chants were “hey you millionaire – pay your fair share,” and “Mitt says cut back – we say fight back!” Jeanette Wenzel of Seattle held a sign that said, “if money is speech, speech isn’t free.” Other signs said “Mitts off our future” and “Money Talks; Supreme Court says so.”

“He’s having a fundraiser for some of the richest people in the country. And if he was elected he would do their bidding,” Sandra VanderVen, 44, a community organizer from Seattle, said of Romney. “It would be by and for the one percent.”

“I’m here because I want publicly funded elections. I’m very concerned that money is buying politicians, which is buying laws, and shutting out the voice of regular people,” said Lisa Marcus, 50, of Seattle. “Corporations have to work for profit – they don’t care about people, health, the environment – anything.”

Innkeeper Annie Phillips, 73, of Burian, stood next to a large installment that urged “Get Money Out of Politics.” It was nothing personal against Romney specifically, she said, but against the pervasive influence of large donors and lobbyist funds throughout the political process. The same group had protested recently when President Barack Obama had a pricey fundraiser in Seattle, she said. “It’s been building for a long time – the campaign spending and the lobbying. We’re not the democracy we were supposed to be,” Philipps said.

Photo credits: Ros Krasny

Comments
8 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Romney visits Seattle & Reuters covers the Protesters. Welcome to the new journalistic standard: If it chants it leads.

Posted by solidprinciples | Report as abusive
 

So of course they protested the President’s fund raiser’s yesterday in the North East right? Oh no? Can you say “Double Standard?” Not my 99%…

Posted by RegisteredRep | Report as abusive
 

seattle’s pot smoking hypocrites protesting a conservative.. shocking.

Posted by dvick | Report as abusive
 

How come all the “crazy gay stoners” on the west coast actually see what’s happening, the “rich old wasps” on the eat coast ignore what’s happening for money, and the rest of america will do whatever they are told by someone who waves a “god” flag in their face all day? Fear and jealously are used to keep us from uniting against these pigs. When you actually follow which corporations own which others, the picture gets pretty scary, pretty quickly. If Americans weren’t so quick to forget our roots, we would be realizing that the Bastille, I mean, Wall Street and it’s government whores need to be stormed and dismantled by WE THE PEOPLE. How much longer will these things happen, while we ignore the mandate of the constitution to preserve and protect it at all costs? We dishonor all those who have died forming this country, as well as all those who died believing in the lies of warmongers and profiteers of foreign wars. I am so happy that the vets I speak to coming back from the middle east see the lies. They know that at the bottom of the rhetoric, we are killing children to make money. These rich politicians speak of god and christian values, but truth be told, god has no place in such a system. “Thou shalt not kill” was not meant to be a suggestion.

Posted by lolcoolj | Report as abusive
 

Nothing will change in the future; the problem is the diversity in America. The problem that is plaguing America happened in Europe before, only the rich were powerful enough to control politics; slowly the system is being corrupted by the ones who have the money to buy the presidency. These millionaires, and other individuals, that endorse some politicians and help them with thousands of dollars should be banned; there is a need for some laws to curtail corporations and indivduals that use money for their own advantage when it comes to elections or any politician inside the White House.

Posted by xiran | Report as abusive
 

Does anyone really believe they represent 99 % or anything ? I truly hope 99% of Americans are not Marxists.

Posted by GaryMN | Report as abusive
 

While I watched cars drive into the parking garage at Mitt Romney’s fundraiser last Thursday night in Bellevue, it struck me that cars are only so fancy… just as you can only have 7 fabulous, expensive dinners a week. As a human, you are limited in what you can directly experience. It struck me that Romney wouldn’t notice if a million dollars went missing. It would actually have no physical impact on what he experiences directly in his life. Would a million dollars impact you?
And part of how he is able to amass this wealth is by liquidating other people’s assets, like their jobs and their pensions. This system is legal, but it isn’t fair. We have an economic system where making profit for shareholders is the ONLY legal responsibility a publicly-traded corporation has. Too often, those profits are generated by exploiting people and poisoning the planet.
And all of that excess profit, the over-the-top-abundance that no living person can ever feel, is being funneled right back into crafting public policies (through unlimited campaign contributions) where it will perpetuate until We the People speak out, stand up and demand a system that is more fair and equitable and most of all, sustainable.
I am deeply concerned about this cycle of maximizing profits for the few at the expense of the many. We are the 100%. All life shares this planet.

Posted by ilovelife | Report as abusive
 

I think the protest was so cute! i really like to see it when folks can get out there and put on a show – yours was awsome. They used to do meltdowns all over my car. My husband at the time was on a Trident. At first I wanted to be able to push things around to defend my husband however he assured me that WA woulde take good care of everything and after a while I got used to the theatrics and actually look them up to see what folks are doing. I just loved the buildings. So cute! Thank you for making things fun.

Posted by PetrinaHahn | Report as abusive
 

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