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Unemployed and Liberal Groups to Hold Protests in D.C.

Tony Pugh
McClatchy / News Report
Published: Saturday 3 December 2011
“Roughly 3,000 unemployed workers from around the country are expected in the nation's capitol next week for four days of protests with labor, religious and social justice groups.”
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Roughly 3,000 unemployed workers from around the country are expected in the nation's capitol next week for four days of protests with labor, religious and social justice groups that say Congress cares more about America's wealthiest 1 percent than it does the masses of struggling middle-class families.

Piggybacking on the Occupy Wall Street movement, the three-day "Take Back the Capitol" protest will open Monday with construction of a "Peoples Camp" on the National Mall as a base of operations. On Tuesday, protesters will hit Capitol Hill to lobby members of Congress about extending federal unemployment benefits. The group walks to K Street on Wednesday to protest the political influence of corporate lobbyists.

And on Thursday, they'll host a national prayer vigil for the unemployed on Capitol Hill. At the same time, the AFL-CIO will coordinate simultaneous protests at congressional district offices across the country to call for extending unemployment benefits that are slated to expire Dec. 31 without congressional action.

"We're going to be here for a week, and we're going to be letting them all know that people are getting pretty tired of a Washington that works for the few and not for the many," said Robert Borosage, co-director of Campaign for America's Future, one of a coalition of organizations sponsoring the event.

A flier says the protest will "show Congress what democracy looks like, shine a light on corporate greed and the human suffering it has caused, and demand justice for the 99%."

Protesters will call for passage of President Barack Obama's jobs bill and for continuing the 2 percentage point payroll tax cut for employees.

The protest is expected to draw the largest gathering of unemployed workers in the nation's capital since the economy tanked, said Andy McDonald, spokesman for the American Dream Movement, a national coalition of self-styled progressive groups.

"They're here to say, 'This economy has been broken by the 1 percent (of wealthy Americans), and people in Congress continue to side with them.' We want to reclaim the economy and take back the Capitol and make it the people's house again," McDonald said.

Representatives from 15 Occupy protests from around the country will also take part, Borosage said, but the local Occupy DC isn't a sponsor, said Legba Carrefour, a spokesman for the group. U.S. Park Police said the protesters will not be allowed to sleep overnight on the National Mall.

Supporters hope the growing activism of liberal groups will translate into Election Day victories in 2012.

Their political momentum has been building for months. In August, progressive groups held more than 400 protests in local congressional district offices to push for greater job creation. In September, the Occupy Wall Street movement began. In October, 2,000 liberal activists gathered in Washington for the "Take Back the American Dream" conference. And on Nov. 17, the American Dream Movement held a national day of action in which protesters gathered on structurally deficient bridges across the country to call for greater infrastructure investment to create jobs.

"On a lot of those bridges, there were people from Occupy, there were unemployed workers, union members, members, so they all started to blend together. I think that's what's exciting about what's happening in the country right now and that's what's exciting about next week," McDonald said.

Sponsoring organizations for "Take Back the Capitol" include Rebuild the Dream, the Center for Community Change, USAction, Interfaith Worker Justice, Faith in Life,, the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO.

The protest hopes to capture the frustrations of people like Eric Braddock of Lumberton, N.J., and Molly Wassermann, of New York City. Wassermann recently moved from Toledo, Ohio, to New York to find a job. She's still looking.

"What exactly is a person is supposed to do who is simply not being hired?" she asked. "Are we just supposed to die? Are we supposed to commit suicide? Are we supposed to starve to death homeless and on the streets? I know that sounds dramatic, but that's really what people are facing."

Braddock, 28, a recent college graduate, works as an illustrator. But both his parents, ages 65 and 55, lost their jobs, and Braddock worries about their mental state and their future job prospects.

"I want them to have a sense of pride again and not just wander around the house feeling worthless and embarrassed that they can't get a a job," he said. "I can see it in their faces and it's absolutely heartbreaking for me to see that every day. We just need somebody in charge to think about people like my parents for a change. I believe that Congress is focused in entirely the wrong direction."

Amaya Tune, a spokeswoman for the AFL-CIO, said Congress shouldn't leave town for the holiday break without extending jobless benefits.

"If they leave town and don't do anything, it'd be really terrible for working families, so we're making a big push on this," she said.



If you want to reduce the

If you want to reduce the debt. We have to start making our own products again.If you see Made In USA it is a antique at a flee market. If there are no products made here. There is no payrole tax collected. This is the only way to bring down the debt.

Successful people w assets

Successful people w assets are not to blame for our high unemployment. Even if congress seized all the assets of the wealthiest people, we would still have a huge federal debt problem that is suffocating our economic growth. Without higher growth, we can't expect to reduce unemployment.

No one is blaming "successful

No one is blaming "successful people with assets" - that's a mischaracterization of the message. What's being blamed more than anything - correctly, accurately, is an attitude of social entitlement by too many of the rich. If you employ a work force, do you share the profit with them in an equitable way - meaning paying them the best wages your profits will allow - or do you pay them as little as possible, furthering the downward spiral of the middle class, so that you can hog as much of the profit as possible to your greedy little self? That attitude is now pervasive, perhaps even the norm (I'm living under it myself) - and it's a sure sign of a pig. Time for a barbecue.

If you want to reduce the

If you want to reduce the debt. We have to start making our own products again.
If you see Made In USA it is a antique at a flee market. If there are no products made here. There is no payrole tax collected. This is the only way to bring down the debt

It was always going to take a

It was always going to take a mass movement to really turn things around. That is what made the social and economic progress of the sixtys and seventies happen. It is great to see all these different groups and people co-oporating on issues. We really are the 99%.

I wish that I and every

I wish that I and every unemployed person in the United States of America and all of the people who are part of the OWS movement could all go and attend this. Maybe if we had MILLIONS of Demonstrators and Protestors surround Washington DC and the Congressional Buildings they would listen to us.

"WE, the people" care about

"WE, the people" care about what is best for this country. Believe it or not, there ARE some politicians that are on our side - just not enough of them.
"WE, the people" can make a difference now, by a lot of letter writing by email, telephoning, in general, making a nuisance of ourselves to those that want to do us in - mainly the GOP. Start by harassing Boehner by phone, email. Do not write letters - it takes months for them to get to the addressee - they're checking for anthrax and any other disease that can be sent through the mail. Lets ring those phones off their hooks.


Sadly, so brilliantly put.
"We the people", the 99%ers should be writing, phoning, asking The President and everyone standing for election "Where do you stand over OWS? What support are you going to give?"
We need to be clear: No support > no vote.

AND it is very important we

AND it is very important we work outside the system...otherwise, we will go that way of so many reformists...coopted.



This is not about glamorized or fictional piracy. This is, “real piracy.”

Hundreds of our wealthiest leaders and most powerful corporations know that in the next few years, they will be able to siphon, skim, and steal, so much “NEW CASH,” that they and their progeny will be ultra-rich for generations to come.

No, this is not funny, or fiction, or a conspiracy, it is just simple greed and simple theft.
The new pirates of America have launched an all-out siege on us in order to capture, amass, and hold trillions of dollars for themselves.

All of the recent political power grabs and nonsensical debating is purely a slight-of-hand deflection. President Obama, Democrats, Republicans, the International Press, and even the Tea Party, are watching the tiny pea in the shell game…while the rich and powerful “Piratical Right” is stealing America right out from under us.

Consider that their combined total plunder from corporate flipping, downsizing, offshore labor, speculation, price fixing of oil and energy plus, corruption in defense, healthcare, banking, student loans, foreclosures, etc., etc., is a trillion dollar treasure for these pirates.
Go ahead, put your own calculator to it.

Are they smarter than we are? Yes, and they are laughing at us. I, we, you, and all of us, have not been able see the big picture of what is happening to our own country and to our own people. The rape and theft of America, has been cleverly packaged, promoted, and sold under the guise of “cost-cutting,” “deregulation,” and “free enterprise.”

The “Piratical Right” is directly responsible for millions of people dying, getting sick, losing their jobs and homes, losing their ability to fight, their spirit, and even losing their will to live. The sick smell of this carnage now permeates the air across America.

To us, this is all unimaginable, because we look for some sense or the morality of things. These modern-day American pirates however, have no moral compass. They are devoid of any conscience, humanity or soul, and are feeding on the flesh of the American people.

Don’t look to the President, the Senate, Congress, the press, or any political party to help. Sadly, they just don’t see it, don’t care, or are part of it. “We the people” are on our own. Start asking questions. Demand answers. If we don’t fight back America…who will?

History has taught us how to stop piracy.


Sadly, so brilliantly

Sadly, so brilliantly put.
"We the people", the 99%ers should be writing, phoning, asking The President and everyone standing for election "Where do you stand over OWS? What support are you going to give?"
We need to be clear: No support > no vote.

Whats this supposed to

Whats this supposed to mean??? "Unemployed and liberal groups"?? Are you saying I can't attend unless I'm unemployed and/or liberal? Is one or the other good enough? Or do I have to be both?? You know what I'm thinking? That there can and will be people from all walks of life and political persuasions there. How 'bout that? I think thats a good idea. Why did you headline this article like this?? WHY??

Part of the function of OWS

Part of the function of OWS is to teach people of different views to combine ideas to create something truly good for the country. THAT will be what saves us from the "pirates." David you are right. What we are doing is not about's part of why we drive the media and politicians nuts. Which is, but the way, for too much fun!

Actually, Tea Party people

Actually, Tea Party people are starting to show up at our OWS sites. They are not only welcome, they are celebrated. And, I agree with you that this isn't a progressive issue. This is an American issue, all Americans-- or at least 99%.

unemployed and the people who

unemployed and the people who policies caused it protesting together

I didn't hear that the GOP

I didn't hear that the GOP and right-wingers were protesting, Old Hat. Dang, man - turn of the Faux News and READ something. Your posts are like a parody of the clueless.

I wish I could be there.

I wish I could be there. I've been unemployed for too long - even if the extension is passed it may not do me any good. I have a college degree - and many credits towards a Master's - and twenty years experience, but have not been hired yet.

I've had all kinds of interviews, but there is always someone else with more experience or education - the last job I interviewed for hired an MA with 25 yrs. It paid $30K.


And now I hear that the Republicans will allow the Unemployment extensions to pass if they get to build that vile Keystone pipeline.Doesn't ANYONE care about what is best for this country?

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