Occupy Wall Street and other protesters in DC for a big "Take Back the Capitol" action Tuesday took their fight for the "99 percent" right to the Republican power base: expensive lobbyists-fueled fundraisers. On Tuesday night, about 100 mostly unemployed activists rallied outside the swank Lincoln restaurant downtown, where House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was holding a $2,500 a plate fundraiser for his leadership PAC.
In no small bit of irony, Cantor had themed the fundraiser a "Festivus" event. Seinfeld fans may recall that Festivus is a fictional holiday created for the show. It involves an undecorated aluminum "Festivus" pole and rituals including the "airing of grievances." (On the Seinfeld episode, Frank Costanza declares, "The tradition of Festivus begins with the Airing of Grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you're gonna hear about it.")
The invitation to Cantor's fundraiser asked attendees to come and "air your grievances." So the protesters did. In between heckling donors and GOP members of Congress and chanting for millionaires to pay their fair share, the protesters stopped for the occasional "mic check," in which they had an unemployed person step forward to tell his or her tale of woe. ("I used to be a science teacher...") Many of the people in the crowd had been flown in from Idaho by the Service Employees International Union, which helped organize the protest.
You can watch the video footage of Tuesday night's Cantor protest below, including a scene where a Cantor staff member talks to a Channel 4 reporter with her back turned before having him tossed out: