Friday, August 28, 2015

Mitt Romney gives Occupy Philly the slip at fund-raiser

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney slipped into a fund-raiser at the Rittenhouse Hotel this afternoon for his presidential campaign while protesters from Occupy Philly were on the wrong side of the building. About 100 protesters had gathered in front of the hotel, which faces Rittenhouse Square, to greet Romney when they heard he was due to come in through an entrance on 20th Street. With a heavy police escort, which had followed the group from City Hall, they moved to the other entrance. And that's when Romney walked through the front door.

Mitt Romney gives Occupy Philly the slip at fund-raiser

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney slipped into a fund-raiser at the Rittenhouse Hotel this afternoon for his presidential campaign while protesters from Occupy Philly were on the wrong side of the building.  About 100 protesters had gathered in front of the hotel, which faces Rittenhouse Square, to greet Romney when they heard he was due to come in through an entrance on 20th Street.  With a heavy police escort, which had followed the group from City Hall, they moved to the other entrance.  And that's when Romney walked through the front door.

The protesters said they oppose the power of money in political campaigns and mocked Romney for raising $10,000 per table at the event and $2,500 for pictures with the candidate.  The brought a slightly-less-than-life-size photo of Romney and took a group picture with it.

"They call it contributions, we call for revolution," the crowd chanted at one point while hotel workers peered through windows at the commotion.  The protest was at times a little profane but peaceful. There did not appear to be any arrests.

Using the "human microphone" method, where one person speaks and the crowd repeats the words, Joshua Hupp of West Philly praised Romney for pushing through a universal health care plan for Massachusetts residents when he was governor.

"Mitt Romney signed off on that," Hupp said and the crowd repeated. "Now that he is running for president, he has turned his back on that idea of taking care of people who can't take care of themselves. That is morally bankrupt."

The protest lasted about an hour.  The group, having missed Romney, decided to march to a Wells Fargo branch office at 15th and Market streets to join another protest going on there.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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