Union Solidarity Involves Jamming D.C. Traffic During Rush Hour

By March 16, 2011General, Labor Unions

Sundry labor and leftwing activists marched through downtown Washington, D.C., this evening, blocking main streets right in the heart of the evening commute. There were a few hand-drawn signs expressing solidarity with union employees in Wisconsin, many professional signs from the Amalgamated Transit Union, and some posters from the Socialist Workers Party The Socialist Worker.

We took these photos a little after 6 p.m. at the corner of 13th and F Street, NW, a major bus and traffic route.

How does making it difficult for people to get home build sympathy for organized labor?

UPDATE (7:40 p.m.): According to various union tweets, the protesters first made a scene at a fundraiser for the Wisconsin GOP then spread their disruption to K Street. (araw 6:20pm via TweetDeck : RT @thinkprogress: Large protest of Wisconsin GOP’s DC fundraiser now marching toward K Street http://yfrog.com/gzynetoj)

Hope they had a parade permit.

UPDATE (9:15 a.m., Thursday): And the protesters took over the building atrium. In some respects, you have to admire the willingness of the protesters to pay the consequences for their actions, committing trespass and then spending the night in jail for the crime.

What? They weren’t arrested? Well, then, their protest lacked moral purpose and was just a PR stunt, wasn’t it? If you’re only willing to make others sacrifice for your cause …

(Hat tip: Gateway Pundit, which reports that that the awful Medea Benjamin of the Marxist group, Code Pink, took part.) UPDATE: Oh yes, here she is. Given the tenor of the times, the anti-war groups have to diversify into labor politics.

UPDATE (11:35 a.m.): Amy Ridenour at her National Center Blog contrasts blogging coverage in a post, “Screw the Workers, We’re Here to Help Them”:

Compare the coverage of a union protest in the unabashedly left-wing Talking Points Memo (TPM) website with that in the National Association of Manufacturers blog.

NAM was concerned about the impact the protest had on workers trying to get home during their evening commutes. TPM didn’t even mention the impact of the event on uninvolved parties, 99 percent of whom almost certainly were tired workers.

We walk by the corner of 13th and F every evening on the way to the Metro. It’s a stop for numerous commuter buses, some with routes that take an hour or more.

UPDATE (1:25 p.m.): In Milwaukee, Wisc., a union organizer tells protesters, “Be careful DO NOT OBSTRUCT TRAFFIC! We want to gain support from the commuter community! Let’s make this line long and thick.” The message went out via the state university’s e-mail system.

Join the discussion 7 Comments

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  • Carter Wood says:

    You’re right. The NAM believes in property rights and is opposed to trespassing.

  • It’s really not surprising that NAM would give us this horrible coverage…especially considering protesters occupied the US Chamber of Commerce building.


  • Carter Wood says:

    Did you see the word “thug” in the post anywhere? But yes, bum rushing security guards would qualify as an example of such.

  • Ben says:

    Gee, thanks for the sympathetic report. Not surprising, considering NAM is an ally of the Chamber of Commerce and other groups actively trying to destroy the American working class and middle class.

    Can you define to me what a “union thug” is, anyway? This is such a strawman that it is ridiculous. I was there, and what I saw were over 1,000 peaceful demonstrators who exercised their freedom of speech. We may not have the thousands of dollars to buy elections, but we have our voices, and we won’t be silenced by corporate media.

    You can’t even get your facts right. Code Pink is not a Marxist group. And the main socialist signs were from the International Socialist Organization and Democratic Socialists of America – I didn’t see the SWP anywhere.

    The reason why corporate media reports negatively on events like this is that you are threatened by social movements and the masses. We’re not buying your propaganda anymore!

  • BJN says:

    They were certainly willing to be arrested, and believed that they were for most of the time. The police union turned out to support the protest, and in fact sent cruisers to block traffic for marchers. We also briefly occupied the Chamber of Commerce.

  • […] shut down rush hour traffic yesterday in Washington DC to protest a Scott Walker fundraiser. Shopfloor reported: Sundry labor and leftwing activists marched through downtown Washington, D.C., this […]

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