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.”