Repost from my old blog, from May 20, 2007
After feeling victorious from shutting down the port this morning, someone in our affinity group got a call that a group of racists were harassing the Woodfin Workers picket.
Woodfin is a hotel in Emoryville, about 15 minutes from my house. Last Christmas, several immigrant workers were unjustly fired without notice in retaliation for organizing to obtain their rights under the local living wage and workload protection ordinance that EBASE passed last year. They have been tremendously courageous in organizing ever since.
Today they were out in force, standing up for their rights. In response, the Woodfin hotel did something that was really stupid. They invited a group of Davis College Republicans to come and counter-protest. Woodfin gave them all free room and board the night prior – they would rather PAY money for asshole college kids to come and crash in their hotel than pay people wages they deserve.
We rolled up with our giant dove.
The cop flipped out. Apparently the College Republican boys were so confrontational that the cops were really afraid that there would be violence. The Republicans came with signs like “Quit Stalin – get back to work” and “Marx would be proud” and “si se puede CON GREENCARD!” Their intention was only to provoke and jeer.
This asshole in particular just tried to heckle us on a megaphone.
He wasn’t very good at it. It’s hard to yell into a megaphone with a silver spoon stuck in your mouth.
t’s almost funny. All Woodfin did by bringing these dudes in was create more conflict, and a bigger scene. Any potential guests were far less likely to go in. A couple people went in and canceled their reservations when they saw what was happening.
We joined the picket and it was beautiful. It was the most energized picket I have ever seen. Creative, fun, dancy chants, and lots of love. It was such a sharp contrast to the boys across the street – with their poorly scrawled neon orange signs, who were motivated by hate. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. It’s sad.