It has begun – “Occupy Congress” is in its first day – the first day in a week of demonstrations, lobbying and occupying Washington DC. It will be the largest ever gathering of Occupy Wall Street activists from around the country – including over a dozen from right here in San Diego. Tuesday, January 17th, is the day that Congress reconvenes. And the occupiers are ready to give them an earful.
Here’s from various news sources:
Occupy Protesters Swarm US Capitol in Washington
By Ben Nucklols/ AP
Protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement are meeting outside the Capitol for what participants hope will become the largest gathering of Occupy activists from around the country.
A few hundred protesters gathered outside barricades around the Capitol on a cold, rainy Tuesday morning. U.S. Capitol Police say one person has been arrested and charged with assault on a police officer.
Participants say they are decrying the influence of corporate money in politics and want to show the House of Representatives what real democracy looks like. The House reconvenes Tuesday after its winter recess.
The protest comes as the nation’s capital has emerged as one of the strongest bastions of the Occupy movement, in part because the National Park Service has allowed protesters to maintain their encampments.
Hundreds of Occupy protesters rally at US Capitol
By Ian Simpson / Reuters
Several hundred demonstrators with the Occupy movement rallied outside the U.S. Capitol building on Tuesday to denounce what they called the influence of money in Congress.
“It’s important to let people know we’re not going to take it anymore. People are really mad about the way things are going and we want Congress to understand that,” said protester James Cullen, 30, an unemployed social worker from Greenbelt, Maryland.
The demonstrators were part of a movement that started with the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York last year and spread to some other U.S. cities.
The protesters gathered on a lawn outside the Capitol to greet members of Congress returning from a holiday break with a day of rallies and protests they said would include attempts to occupy lawmakers’ offices.
They carried signs saying, “Face it liberals, the Dems sold us out,” “Congress for sale” and “Banksters of America.”
The morning demonstration was generally peaceful. Police said one protester was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer.
“Corporations and government have been so inextricably linked that it’s not a true democracy anymore, and people have to realize that,” said David, 16, a high school student from New Haven, Connecticut, who gave only his first name.
By Seung Min Kim / Politico
One man was arrested for assault on a police officer Tuesday during day-long ‘Occupy Congress” protests on Capitol Hill.
Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider confirmed the arrest, but did not have a name for the man, who was being processed at Capitol Police headquarters.
Demonstrators affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street are camped out at the West Front Lawn of the Capitol for what they call a “day of action against a corrupt political institution.” The group also plans to march later to the Supreme Court and the White House.
Earlier Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered some advice to the protesters during POLITICO’s Playbook Breakfast interview.
“It’s important to note what they have said, and that is: the status quo is not acceptable,” Pelosi said. “If I were they, I would have wedded this directly to the role of money in politics.”
UPDATE: Schneider said Tuesday afternoon that four people had been arrested in connection with the protests. William Griffin was charged with assaulting a police officer, she said, while Nathaniel Schrier, Clinton Boyd and and Heron Boyce wer