Our prayers are with them for the success of their fight for social justice…
By Tony Pugh | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — America’s unemployed workers brought their message of frustration and despair directly to the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday as they filled the congressional offices of dozens of lawmakers and refused to leave until they met with their elected representatives.
The sit-in style confrontations were the opening salvo of a three-day protest event dubbed “Take Back the Capitol,” which is sponsored by a coalition of progressive organizations.
The groups want Congress to pass President Barack Obama’s jobs bill, extend the federal payroll-tax break for working Americans and extend the federal emergency unemployment-insurance benefits that are slated to expire Dec. 31.
While the protests overwhelmingly targeted Republican lawmakers who oppose the Obama jobs plan, the groups also visited with leading congressional Democrats such as Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina and House of Representatives Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.
Undaunted by a steady morning drizzle, hundreds of protesters emerged from their “tent city” on the National Mall and trekked to the Capitol, where they made good on their promise to “swarm the halls” and track down members of Congress to demand commitments on their pet issues.
“If they don’t pass the jobs bill, we will get rid of them,” said Oliver Hendricks, an unemployed ironworker from Boston who was among 250 Massachusetts residents who came to protest.