Campus Notebook: Jobless, Protesters Descend on D.C.

Posted December 2, 2011 at 5:12pm

Nearly a thousand unemployed Americans and their allies are expected to descend on the District this week for five days of “action” organized by a coalition of labor and community groups, including the Services Employees International Union, and OurDC.

“By day, we’ll show up at Congressional hearings and K Street lobbyists’ offices, and by night, we’ll crash in church auditoriums, union halls and in tents around the Capitol,” an SEIU press release said. “Our goal is to remind Congress their job is to represent all Americans — not just the richest 1 percent,” the group said, borrowing a phrase from Occupy Wall Street.

According to an itinerary of events, participants will visit Congressional offices Tuesday to “seek commitments to unemployment insurance extensions and jobs, not cuts, for the 99 percent.”

Stephanie Mueller, a spokeswoman for the coalition, which calls itself the “American Dream” movement, said she expects protesters to have a “peaceful but powerful presence.”

Occupy DC, which has set up camp in McPherson Square, is not an event co-sponsor. But James Adams of OurDC said he hoped that the people affiliated with that movement will join in the festivities, which will include a march on K Street.

Sam Jewler, who handles media for Occupy DC, said he expected some overlap in participation but that reaching out to lawmakers on Capitol Hill is not really a tactic the occupiers embrace.

“A lot of people from Occupy DC don’t think that’s the way to go because Members of Congress and the government in general are still part of the system that necessitates taking big money from Wall Street and other corporations,” Jewler said.

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