Occupy Protesters Target Chamber of Commerce Party

Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:44pm

Occupy protesters plan to continue their K Street sit-in tonight, descending on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual holiday party.

Instead of eggnog and good will, business giants will be greeted by taunts and a human red carpet designed to force the well-heeled to tread on the less fortunate.

The party crashers — supported by the Service Employees International Union and U.S. Chamber Watch, a labor-backed group established before the 2010 elections — were making last-minute preparations this afternoon.

They are going for a holiday horror scene that Christy Setzer, a spokeswoman for the liberal chamber watchdog, described as “Charles Dickens meets red carpet” complete with carols sung by the unemployed.

The counter-party will cap off two consecutive days of demonstrations organized by Occupy sympathizers. On Tuesday, activists led by the American Dream Movement, a coalition that includes MoveOn.org, the SEIU and the local jobs group Our DC, stormed Capitol Hill in an effort to turn tent-city energy into legislative action. The next day a similar cast of characters turned their sights downtown, prompting heightened security at major lobby shops and dozens of arrests.

A mock invitation for tonight’s “2011 Holiday-Themed We are the One-Percent Celebration” sent to reporters today advertised “a slideshow presentation of our most recent misleading campaign ads and a photo booth sponsored by Bank of America Chevron and Boeing” and stressed that guests “looking to Buy a Legislative Agenda Especially Encouraged to Attend.”

A representative for the Chamber of Commerce declined to comment.

The chamber, which has outspent other advocacy groups in lobbying and election expenditures for years, has been a favorite target for Occupiers since tent cities first appeared in urban centers this summer. Labor unions, another entrenched and similarly powerful electioneering force, have become increasingly outspoken in their support of the Occupiers.