Occupy Las Vegas decides to skip protesting Obama fundraiser

Victor Joecks

Today, President Obama visited Las Vegas for, among other things, a fundraiser at the Bellagio.

Part of Occupy Las Vegas’ mission statement reads:

We want an end to corporate money’s influence in politics, whether through campaign donations, PACs, or other groups. Money is not speech.

We want truly effective campaign finance reform, so that corporations and other interests have no overwhelming advantage over the rest of us in any part of American politics.

For a group that claims to be interested in getting money out of politics, a protest outside of a luxury hotel where the President of the United States is holding a fundraiser would be a no-brainer, right?

Yes, and at one point, Occupy Las Vegas was planning to hold a rally, as OLV-forum-user hamnose wrote:

The RVJ on Saturday says Obama will be here Tuesday. I haven’t seen any news concerning this since then. I notice that all the messages related to this event have disappeared from the OccupyLasVegas website. Has this been cancelled? Or has Obama cancelled his visit?

But cancel they did, because they’re too busy … or something.

From OLV-forum-user Breadman:

I wanted to help with a protest with the obama event but there’s just too much to be done setting up the new occupation site. That mixed with the uncertainty about where he was supposed to actually be really threw a wrench in the works. You can be sure I’ll be at the next political rally to remind people about our mission. Dems, Repubs, they’re both crap at the moment. We won’t miss the next few regardless of party.

From OLV-forum user Tyrion:

At tonight’s GA [General Assembly] there were a few reasons mentioned not to do this. The visit was happening too quickly for us to create a coherent response, and there were some concerns about the secret service. There was some disagreement here; some will be protesting the visit anyways, which is fine.

One user, MIZZTAZZ [caps in the original], blamed the lack of protesting on Obama’s secret travel schedule:

I finally discovered the VERY general location (east side of Vegas) that he’ll be in tomorrow. The area is being blocked off so no one can determine the exact route he’ll be taking. We discussed planning for future events and being ready to go with 10-12 hours notice (approx. what we’d have for tomorrow) for his next visit.

Never mind that the Review-Journal noted Friday that Obama was having a “midday fundraiser at the Bellagio,” and Jon Ralston literally posted the invitation to Obama’s fundraiser early yesterday afternoon, Occupy Las Vegas claims they just couldn’t figure out where the president would be. If only they had known, I’m sure they would have been out there protesting him just as vigorously as they protested at the Republican debate.

Right … and if you believe that I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Since the Occupy Las Vegas group has stopped posting their General Assembly meeting videos on their livestream page, there’s no way to verify why Occupy Las Vegas called off the Obama protest, but there are some dots here begging to be connected.

Less than two weeks ago, I exposed how union organizers are “behind” Occupy Las Vegas.

A key part of that article quoted union organizers using their influence (and promise to turnout union members to OLV events) to steer protesters away from protesting a Democratic event. They registered no objections, however, to protesting the Republican presidential debate.

Since union organizers guided Occupy Las Vegas protesters away from one Democratic event, it’s likely they would do it again to try and avoid any negative publicity for the president they’ve heavily support with campaign contributions.

If Occupy Las Vegas was serious about protesting big money in politics, they would have protested the president’s fundraiser as vigorously as they protested the Republican debate last week. Instead, Occupy Las Vegas is being influenced and/or guided by the very union groups that put the most money into politics.

If Occupy Las Vegas was living up to its own mission statement, they would be protesting unions for being among the largest campaign contributors in the country. Instead, Occupy Las Vegas is relying on union organizers to boost their numbers at rallies – assuming, of course, those rallies are to the liking of those unions.