-By Tina Dupuy
November 5, 2011- On Friday night I was covering the protest of the Americans for Prosperity conference at the Washington DC Convention Center. It started off with a march from McPherson Square, the location of the Occupation, down K Street to the convention center. The crowd of around 500 people chanted and marched around the perimeter of the complex.
Then they blocked four corners of the street with the aid of police vehicles. One of the attendees came out to ask why the cops were allowing the protesters to do this. The answer she got from police was that it wasn't illegal.
So the protesters, then thinning in numbers to maybe 200 – blocked the doors of the massive convention center (a three block-sized building). The attendees trickled out. One was reported to give the protesters the middle finger…only down near his ribcage nearly out of sight. Very brave.
Anyway, the Occupiers chanted and "occupied" most exits while some of the attendees were at pre-scheduled free screening of Atlas Shugged. (No joke, inside they have a booth set up where you can literally put on a Reagan mask and have your picture taken. If this isn't a metaphor for how the Right's odd relationship with a President who tripled the national debt and yet still raised taxes almost every year he was in office – I don't know what is.)
The worst thing to happen to the Koch-funded event attendees last night was that they had to get chanted at while walking a block to catch a cab or use the Metro inside the convention center. "If we made some rich guys use the Metro tonight – we won!" I overheard an Occupier say.