Occupy DC Plans to ‘Make It Count’ at CPAC

Photo by Chris Wieland

It is no secret that Occupy DC protestors, being backed by the AFL-CIO, are planning a series of protests at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. this weekend. In an article published at Heritage.org, Occupy DC Plans Mayhem for Major Conservative Conference, Lachlan Markay highlights some new information coming from sources within the Occupy camp. Some of the rumored tactics include pulling fire alarms, screaming “fire” within the sessions, glitter-bombing participants (something we are all too familiar with here in Minnesota), cutting electrical power, barricading entrances, and physically assaulting speakers and participants. Sounds like peaceful protests, eh?

The “Occupy DC” protest group is planning to disrupt the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conferenceusing a range of potentially illegal tactics that could even include violence against participants, Scribe has learned.

Speakers will be physically assaulted, not just verbally confronted,” the source told Scribe in an email. Two Occupiers, who the source also identified as members of the New Black Panther Party, “said they would be disappointed if they didn’t get arrested and planned to ‘make it count.’”

The source quoted another protester as saying, “Mitt [Romney] has Secret Service now, but [Newt] Gingrich and [Andrew] Breitbart don’t,” seemingly suggesting that the latter two would not be as heavily guarded.

Protesters planned to conduct most of these activities on Saturday, the last day of the conference, so as not to overlap with the recently announced protests by labor groups on Thursday and Friday.

While there will be thousands of CPAC attendees, there is one particular group that are especially prepared for the occupiers. Hundreds of bloggers and media types will be armed with their Flip cams and TV cameras, just waiting to catch the juvenile and likely violent tactics of the protestors. In fact, this is what the protestors want…publicity at any cost. Those in attendance would be wise to remain vigilant during the conference, without letting these ridiculous bully tactics affect their plans in the least. (But do keep your video camera at the ready!)

Both the American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual conference, and the Marriott Wardman Park hotel, where it takes place, said they had increased their security measures and were confident that any threat from protesters would be adequately addressed.

But concerns remain. Occupiers reportedly discussed a number of tactics for getting protesters into the conference, where they would be able to do more damage than a street protest could muster.

An attendee of the Thursday meeting, who claimed to handle relations with labor organizations, said the AFL-CIO had booked rooms for Occupiers at the Marriott hotel, with the intention of allowing them to bypass security measures at the door. Contacted by Scribe, an AFL-CIO spokesman insisted the Occupiers’ claims were untrue. The AFL-CIO has aided Occupy DC before, most recently in storing Occupiers’ belongings at its headquarters in advance of the National Park Service’s enforcement actions.

But Occupiers are apparently planning other means of infiltration. Representatives from the American University and George Washington University “Occupy” groups said they intended to actually register their members for CPAC. Student passes are heavily discounted, and allow full access to the conference.

They also said they would produce counterfeit credentials and hand them out to non-students who still wished to enter the protest.

“In order to avoid having to shower and dress in business attire to blend in,” Scribe’s source said, “they plan to wear Ron Paul 2012 gear because they believe Paul supporters ‘generally look like hippies.’”

One last tip for attendees: Don’t forget to pack your HazMat suit.

Photo by Andrew Bossi