Activists plan to protest a private fundraising event for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise Tuesday afternoon, trying to keep pressure on the Louisiana Republican weeks after the revelation that he addressed a meeting of white supremacists in 2002.
“We’re trying to protest racism in the system,” said Pete Haviland-Eduah of Million Hoodies, one of the groups that will organize outside the Capitol Hill Club. “This is a congressman that has known ties to a racist [organization]. We want to make it well known to leaders in both parties that the people are not supporting of this.” Demonstrators will call for Speaker John A. Boehner to immediately remove Scalise from House leadership. The organizers say they were shocked when the Ohio Republican and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., threw their support behind Scalise in late December, and dismissed Scalise’s speech to a group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke as a mistake.
Scalise’s office did not immediately respond to questions about the event. It’s unclear if the coalition of progressive organizations, including People for the American Way, CREDO and Behind the Arc Jewish Action, will disrupt planned meetings with donors.
“They’re going to be meeting with potential fundraisers and, you know, I think they need to be held accountable,” said Aaron Black, an activist. He planned to march with ColorofChange.org, a civil rights group that circulated a petition calling on Boehner to strip Scalise of his leadership post. In a phone interview, Black told CQ Roll Call the group would continue to go after the issue, and suggested more revelations about Scalise’s ties to the white supremacist group could be forthcoming.
“We’re not going away,” Black continued. “We’re very disappointed that this happened and we want accountability. It’s not just this one time.”
Correction, 5:05 p.m. An earlier version of this post misstated Black’s affiliation.
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