Are union advocates targeting GOP offices?

John Fund believes so:

We may be about to experience an election unlike any we’ve seen in a while. The Florida recount in 2000 raised passions and blood pressure and featured some demonstrations on both sides, but there was no violence. This year, lots of groups are jostling with each other to monitor the elections in battleground states. For its part, the AFL-CIO has promised to dispatch thousands of election monitors to battleground states to watch for any hint of trouble at polling places. From the initial reports, they may be the ones for have to be watched as potential troublemakers.

Last week, in Orlando, Fla., approximately 60 union protestors stormed and ransacked the local Bush-Cheney headquarters causing considerable damage and injuring one campaign staffer, who suffered a broken wrist.

According to an Orlando Police Department report, Rhyan Metzler, a field director for the Republican Party, was at the headquarters about 1 p.m. last Tuesday when 60 protestors barged in. Van Church, a 53-year old protestor, forced the door open and caused Mr. Metzler’s arm to be caught in it. His left wrist was fractured in the altercation. Police say Mr. Church will be charged with two counts of battery.

But Mr. Church is unrepentant. “If his wrist was fractured, it’s a result of his own actions in jerking the door the way he did,” he told the Orlando Sentinel. “He jerked the door out of my hand and cut it in the process.” But since it is Mr. Church who is being charged, the police apparently didn’t think Mr. Metzler did anything wrong.

Orlando’s fracas was mirrored in Miami, where police reported that more than 100 union protestors stormed the Bush-Cheney office and shoved volunteers aside. No one was charged because most of the protestors left before the police arrived. In Tampa, about 35 protestors filled the local GOP office and intimidated the elderly volunteers working there.

The AFL-CIO took credit on its Web site for similar demonstrations–apparently all coordinated–in Independence, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., Dearborn, Mich., St. Paul, Minn., and West Allis, Wis. In what could be a related incident, the Bush-Cheney office in Knoxville, Tenn., had its plate-glass windows shattered by gunfire on Tuesday morning before volunteers showed up for work. Another Republican office, in Seattle, was broken into and had computer files stolen.

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