Allan Lipsett, press secretary for House Speaker Newt Gingrich, surveyed the hundreds of union protesters and dozens of police outside his office Wednesday, glanced at the news helicopter above and, for the moment, could only mutter, “Wow.”
Shortly before, Lipsett had been shoved aside by 300 or more union workers who had stormed each room on the two floors of the Republican speaker’s office in Cobb County, Ga., chanting “Shame on Newt!” and “Boot Newt!”
Posters saying “Jobs With Justice” and “Workers Rights” were plastered over walls and photographs of Gingrich.
By the time the action was over, unionists and police had clashed. Each side blamed the other for the spurt of violence. Two people, including Atlanta union organizer James Orange, were arrested.
“I am disgusted that union thugs have to resort to pushing and shoving women staff members, defacing public property and terrorizing constituents,” Gingrich said in a statement from Washington.
The protesters - who included nurses, electricians, communications workers, government employees and truckers - believe Gingrich is determined to eliminate the minimum wage and dismantle protections for workers.
Metro unions plan to meet today to discuss what other actions they will take against Gingrich.