Six protesters arrested as people “occupying” DC march into Congress
DAVID DOUGHERTY, TRNN: The Occupy DC and Stop the Machine movements continue to gain momentum on Tuesday, October 11, as six demonstrators were arrested at the United States Capitol during a rally held inside the Hart Senate Office Building. More than 100 protesters gathered in the atrium and surrounding levels while shouting antiwar and economic justice slogans, as Senate staff and visitors looked on. Capitol Police quickly cordoned off the area, and several participants were arrested on charges of unlawful conduct for demonstrating in a Capitol building.
DEMONSTRATOR: I’m getting arrested when the president and the Congress should be getting arrested, Boeing should be getting arrested, Lockheed Martin should be getting arrested, military contractors should be getting arrested.
DOUGHERTY: The protest is the latest in a wave of actions and occupations that have appeared across the country, following the commencement of the Occupy Wall Street. Demonstrators at the Capitol and Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, have placed a particular emphasis on organizing against United States militarism and foreign occupations.
ALLI MCCRACKEN, CODE PINK DC COORDINATOR: The Wall Street protests are more focused on the economic problems of this country. But we see war as intrinsically tied to the economic problems of this country. One of the reasons that we are in such horrific debt is because we’re in so many wars and we have military bases all over the world that we can’t afford to have. And so we do have an antiwar flavor to the Stop the Machine protest, but we’re in complete sync with all the messages, all of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy DC.
DOUGHERTY: Before heading to Congress on Tuesday morning, demonstrators had assembled in Freedom Plaza to organize the logistics of the rally. The plaza has been converted into a campsite as part of the Stop the Machine protest movement, which was recently granted a four-month extension on the permit that was set to expire on Tuesday. Stop the Machine is loosely affiliated with the Occupy DC movement, which had been maintaining another occupation site in nearby McPherson Square. Organizer Maria Allwine sees the emerging occupation movements as evidence that people are fed up with the lack of participation and influence in the two-party political system.
MARIA ALLWINE, OCTOBER 2011 ORGANIZER: The one great thing that President Obama has done for the American people has taught them a valuable lesson, that it is not–there’s no party that is going to save you, there’s no leader that’s going to save you. We must save ourselves. We must refashion, remake the democratic process in this country. We must remake our economic system. We must remake our political and electoral system.
DOUGHERTY: In recent weeks, there have been a number of arrests made in similar occupation and direct action movements across the country. Demonstrators in cities and towns all over the United States have vowed to continue organizing to resist policies they say are against the interests of the public majority. This is David Dougherty with The Real News Network.
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