Madison Comes to D.C: Protesters Swarm Lobby of GOP Fundraiser

1||March 16, 2011: A group of a couple hundred union workers, labor activists and progressives turned the lobby of a DC office building into a mini-Wisconsin State Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

Protesters stormed the building of lobbying powerhouse BGR in downtown DC that was hosting a fundraiser for Wisconsin state Republicans. TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro reported from the scene.||TPM/Evan McMorris-Santoro&&

2||The largest contingents were workers from the AFSCME union and the AFL-CIO but many other groups came out as well.||TPM/Evan McMorris-Santoro&&

3||Following the protests, everyone filed out to continue the protest where it started, on the sidewalk outside.||TPM/Evan McMorris-Santoro&&

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5||No incidents were reported after a short stand in the lobby.||TPM/Evan McMorris-Santoro&&

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11||Joslyn Williams, president of the DC AFL-CIO council and a member of AFSMCE local 2477, addressed the crowd and declared a ten-minute occupation before the crowd moved outside.||TPM/Evan McMorris-Santoro&&

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13||TPM spoke to a real life socialist on the scene who’d only go by “Mike” who said “The reality is, the better working people have it, the better everyone has it, claiming that fighting for a “strong middle class” is what socialism is all about.||TPM/Evan McMorris-Santoro&&

14||During the protest, a number of people who looked like they worked in the building stood in front of the elevators, barring anyone from going near them.||TPM/Evan McMorris-Santoro&&

15||The BGR Group, the lobbying firm Barbour helped to found in 1991, has long been known for its ties to the GOP. Among its executives are Bob Wood, a former aide to Tommy Thompson, the Republican governor of Wisconsin for 14 years. And on BGR’s past client list is a large energy company – and that’s raising eyebrows with watchdog groups.||TPM/Evan McMorris-Santoro&&

16||The Daily Kos reported there was a march to the Chamber of Commerce with as many as a 1000 people afterward. ||TPM/Evan McMorris-Santoro&&

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