On January 17, 2012, thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters left their homes and encampments to protest in the chilly streets of our nation’s capitol. It’s a move that must have pleased the movement’s conservative critics, many of whom have insisted that our corrupt political system is the fault of our “liberal lawmakers,” and not the corporations that have exploited the system.
Planned to coincide with the House of Representatives’ first day back to work after its winter vacation, Occupy Congress was a day of action designed to capture the attention of the very politicians who are charged with representing the interests of the 99%.
Actions included a multi-occupational General Assembly, teach-ins, an OCCUParty, a pink slip for every congressional “representative” and a march on all three branches of what protesters say is “a puppet government that sold our rights and our futures to the 1%.”
The protesters braved cold, damp weather to cluster outside barricades in front of the Capitol, chanting “We are the 99 percent,” according to VOA News. Scores of police officers blocked them from moving onto the Capitol steps, and police arrested at least one person.
“This is an illegitimate system,” reads a statement on OccupyYourCongress.info. “Around half of the nation’s population doesn’t participate in electoral politics. More than 6 million Americans who want to vote are disenfranchised, including the entire populace of the District of Columbia. There is consensus that we are on the wrong track and that our “leaders” do not have our interests at heart.
“All ‘elected’ officials bought their way into gerrymandered seats with Wall Street money. These bankers’ henchmen have shown themselves both unwilling and unable to take on the tremendous, systemic issues in our country, our place in this world.
“In the face of this endemic corruption, the Occupy movement is about organizing locally to discuss and change these problems from the ground up. We came to show the 1%’s Congress what democracy looks like.”
For those who couldn’t attend the demonstration, but still want to give their “representatives” a piece of their mind, Occupy Congress set up an easy-to-use “Find Your Congressman” contact form on its site.
Image Credit: OccupyYourCongress