Within an hour-and-a-half of the announcement that Mitt Romney was swinging through Roxbury - scheduled to talk about blah blah blah and whatever other bullshit at Middlesex Truck & Coach on Gerard Street - dozens of protesters showed up to holler at their former governor's motorcade. MassUniting was on the scene decked in their trademark orange t-shirts. SEIU workers brought signs. Police were there to keep the public as far away from Mitt as possible. Hence their squeezing onto this corner . . .
With questions regarding Romney's sketchy Bain Capital years back in the headlines - Phoenix writer David Bernstein is making sure of that - MassUniting picketers brought the gravestones from their roving burial of capitalism. . .
After a slow start, dozens began to roll up at around 1:30pm - including NAACP rep Clifton Braithwaite, who is seen posing here alongside all of the shitty disposable jobs that Romney created at Bain Capital . . .
Obama supporters and their friends on the front lines waved signs and agreed with each other about a lot of things - like that Romney is a fraud who wouldn't know the first thing about people of color or small business if he was standing in a warehouse in Roxbury. The only awkward moment came when some POTUS people started an Obama chant, and were joined by only about half of the crowd. I suspect that this will be an increasingly common scene in the coming weeks and months, as activists and field operatives square off outside of events nationwide . . .
The cops and troopers weren't so bad, though it's always disturbing to see them jump through hoops for a guy who wouldn't speak a word to them on a desert island. If you've ever wondered who police work for - the people or the politicians - then look no further than any shameless campaign stop anywhere in America . . .
Gotta hand it to the security staff though. These guys play an impressive game of three-card monte with their motorcade, shuffling around until nobody can tell where Mitt's coming from. Made me think of the movie Dave, and wonder if the campaign has a small army of Mitt clones around (other than his sons) . . .
In the end, protesters seemed happy to get their voice heard, especially as the national media made their way through the crowd. "The idea of Mitt Romney saying anything about jobs is laughable - in Roxbury or anywhere else," said Darrin Howell of MassUniting. "I'm not sure why anyone who works at Middlesex Truck & Coach would think that Mitt Romney wouldn't ship their jobs oversees to make an extra buck if he could.". . .
Finally - Boston City Councilors Tito Jackson and Felix G. Arroyo came out to defend their turf. Both spoke at length with the media - mostly about Romney's neglect of Roxbury during his tenures as governor and at Bain. Should be interesting to see how it gets chopped up on the national news tonight. Their message to Mitt (paraphrased in my words): WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU WHEN ROXBURY NEEDED YOU YEARS AGO???
Unfortunately, Mitt never stopped by for a flier, but I'm sure he'll be at the next party . . .