Scooping up a future leader of the labor movement

From Andrew Stern, former head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU): I came down for the Mayday weekend. This was not my first demonstration in Washington nor my last.

I did not come intending to be arrested, but was certainly considering it. I was up early in the morning and headed downtown with a group of friends. I believe we got separated around Dupont Circle, where there were some activities going on.

As we walked towards the White House on the sidewalk — trying to meet up with other people — two people who looked more like businessmen, I believe in suits, grabbed us off the sidewalk, told us we were under arrest, and handcuffed us.

I believe I eventually ended up in [the detention camp] next to RFK Stadium. I ate some bologna sandwiches, hung out with people, and eventually was released. I don’t remember giving my name and I never was contacted afterwards.

[Stern is now a Senior Fellow at the Economic Security Project]

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