Thingish Things

VIDEO UPDATE: Obama’s Class War Escalates

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Nov• 05•11

One of the blocked exits last night. Notice the complete absence of police officers. This was shot more than three hours after the protests began and more than a half hour after initial assaults on guests had taken place.

Newspapers this morning failed to note what didn’t happen last night at the Washington, DC Convention Center.  Indeed, they failed to mention what did happen.  It’s really not their fault.  Things that don’t happen generally aren’t news, and what did happen happened after print deadlines.

But, as someone who was there, let me recap what occurred:

  • Several hundred “Occupy DC” protesters arrived at the Convention Center shortly after 6pm to protest a dinner being held inside by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.  (No problem.  It is the protesters’ Constitutional right to do that.)
  • The protesters attempted to hold a movie night in which they would project a film onto the side of the Convention Center, but that effort failed for some reason.  So, frustrated, they hatched Plan B: Storm the Convention Center (Problem. They didn’t have tickets for the event.) That effort failed.
  • Next came Plan C.  They decided to hold a sit-in in one of the intersections, which quickly evolved into Plan D: Blockade all the intersections, which digressed into Plan E: Blockade the Convention Center entirely so that nobody could get out.  There were approximately 1,000 people inside, a good chunk of them elderly. (Big problem.)
  • The Washington Police Department, for unknown reasons, decided to allow all this to happen. What few officers were there – far too few for the record – stepped back and let the protesters do their work. For a full hour, while the dinner winded down inside, young, angry protesters were given free rein to set up human blocks to all egresses.  That included using small children as up-front barricades, presumably because security guards would be reluctant to drag away children. (Major problem.)
  • When the dinner ended and guests tried to leave, some protesters physically prevented them from doing so.  A woman in her seventies had a clump of her hair torn out, and another woman not too many years younger was thrown to the ground.  She was injured and had to be taken away by ambulance.  Again, the police did nothing.
  • Those who managed to leave the dinner were pursued for blocks by young protesters who screamed insults at them along their way.  All allowed.
  • The protesters continued blocking the Convention Center’s doors and intersections for well over an hour.  Several hundred elderly guests huddled inside awaiting a more sizable police presence that never came.
  • Then, a driver who had not attended the dinner, apparently got frustrated.  He plowed his silver sedan into a group of protesters, sending three of them to the hospital in “serious” condition.  The driver was an African-American gentleman and his Lexus had been blocked by the protesters because it was a “luxury” car. Only “non-luxury” cars were allowed to pass through the anarchist ranks.  Ambulances came and went, but virtually nothing from the police.  The protesters were left to do whatever they wanted. Soon thereafter, at around 11 p.m., they held a “mike check” and largely retreated.
Now here’s some of what didn’t happen:
  • The protesters believed they had two presidential candidates trapped inside the building.  Mitt Romney and Herman Cain had spoken at the event and left hours earlier, but the protesters believed they were still inside (I was outside with a reporter who can confirm this.)  Trapping presidential candidates with Secret Service protection evidently seemed like a good idea to these aspiring radicals.  Had the candidates been in the Center, and had they been grabbed the way others had been by the protesters, the Secret Service agents would have been authorized to use lethal force.  That didn’t happen.
  • For one moment last night, all hell almost broke loose. You had to be there to feel it.  It was right after the protesters were struck by the car.  For what seemed like a full minute, the unmistakable suggestion of violence was in the air. I watched two masked boys in their early 20’s itching for a target – to find someone and some excuse to start swinging at. But the arrival of a fire engine and ambulance snapped the spell. That didn’t happen.
  • For the final ten minutes of the dinner program, Americans for Prosperity leaders coached the dinner crowd on how to deal – how to not deal really – with the Occupy protesters.  Instructions were clear, and they were followed: Do not engage. No matter what. Without that instruction, I believe there could have been a full-scale riot at the doors. But that didn’t happen either.  Cooler, wiser heads prevailed in the absence of police protection.

But it was that electric moment last night I will remember and fear most.  In that heightened stillness, anything could have happened. Thankfully it did not.  This time.  

What didn’t happen last night is a story worth telling.  

(UPDATE: A friend and Washington Times reporter Kerry Picket provided this video from one of the Convention Center exits last night.  The police allowed this to go on unabated.)


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  1. Alexander says:

    It’s odd–during a Friday this summer, I was staying two blocks away fromt he convention center, and there was a decent-sized groups of, well, who knows engaging in movie projections, break dancing, and some kind of demonstrating, with a bounty of DC cops with their cars, lights blazing, doing absolutely nothing about it. The doormen at the hotel indicated that this seemed to be the norm during the weekend. So our nation’s capital goes…

  2. Daniel Suib says:

    I think you’re wrong Bill. What did happen last night “was” a story worth telling. These protestors are acting as if they are in Libya or Iran or Iraq or Egypt, with their human rights taken away from them. They are not…and this isn’t that. I’m sorry, but I have to speak here. As a registered Democrat, I believe in exactly what Bill believes in…the constitutional right given to these protestors to do what they are doing…peacefully. At first, I think it was a cause worth protesting at Wall Street. The banks, who were bailed out, are now paying out record high bonuses again, and might still be in trouble or at least putting our banking system in trouble. Good cause…good protest. But, in reality, when the protest became coagulated with every cause on earth including probably “Save the Whales”, it lost it’s thunder, and the protest was no longer…”pure”. Now, they are taking it beyond the peaceful hippie love fest. That is a story worth telling.

    As a Democrat…I’m ashamed at the turn this has taken. I still believe that the protestors have the right to protest, but if they expect hand-outs….or equality in pay….then what they are actually asking for is…communism at it’s purest level. Sorry…go earn your money. The money you deserve for going to college and spending that money on your education. Don’t cop-out and start the blame game. Just my opinion…not worth much.

  3. […] of what happened in Washington on Friday night is beginning to trickle out. Here is new and disturbing video just posted on Drudge Report […]

  4. […] The evening before had been chaotic.  Frightening even. A couple of thousands of “Occupy” rowdies had surrounded the Washington Convention Center, trying to prevent guests, including two GOP presidential candidates, inside. DC Metro police let the situation get out of control — they changed their policy toward Occupy protesters as a result — and several people got badly hurt, two of them elderly women. […]

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