Thousands of Unemployed Workers Expected to Protest in D.C.

The action comes as Congress votes on extending unemployment benefits to 2.2 million unemployed workers.

By Jorge Rivas Dec 06, 2011

Thousands of unemployed workers and activists from around the country will begin to "Take Back the Capitol." The protesters will spend today setting up an encampment on Capital Hill and K Street in Washington, DC. Organizers say they want to remind members of Congress that they work for the people, not corporations or lobbyists.

The protests will occur as Congress is expected to vote on extending unemployment insurance to 2.2 million unemployed workers who face losing their benefits if the legislation is not passed.

Organizers are expecting thousands of people to descend on the streets and in the hallways for three days of action to counter the power of the banks, Wall Street and big corporations, according to a statement sent to from the Service Employees International Union.

"By Tuesday afternoon, participants will take direct action in the halls of Congress, K Street lobbyists’ offices, and fundraisers, and by night they’ll stay in churches, in local homes and in sleeping bags and tents at the base of operations–the People’s Camp on the National Mall," the SEIU statement to the press explains.

"Take Back the Capitol" is being supported by the American Dream Movement, a partnership between, Rebuild The Dream, The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Center for Community Change, USAction, and other progressive, labor, and faith-based organizations.

Below is a list of events that are scheduled to take place this week:

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 11:30 AM – 5:30 PM: Take Back the People’s House Unemployed workers and activists from around the country, many of them in Washington DC for the first time, will descend on offices on Capitol Hill.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 11:45 AM – Take Over K Street Thousands of unemployed and under-employed from around the country will take to K street–home to the lobbyists for some of the biggest corporations–to take direct action and serve some of the worst offenders with a bill from the 99 percent for the taxes they don’t pay, the jobs they’ve cost, and for the workers they’ve underpaid while overpaying their top executives.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8 – Justice for the 99% 11 AM: National Prayer Vigil at Upper Senate Park Unemployed workers and faith leaders will hold an Interfaith Service for the Jobless and call for jobs not cuts from Congress and an extension of unemployment insurance, which is set to expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts.

12:30 PM: Direct Action on Congressional Leadership
Vigil participants will engage in a march on the office of one of the leaders of Congress as the culmination of a week of protests and actions calling on Congress to create good jobs, stop cutting public services, and make big corporations and the rich pay their fair share.