A group of protesters that included labor leaders and worker advocates held a silent protest Wednesday to urge legislators against a second partial government shutdown.
The protest, which attracted hundreds, was held in the Hart Senate Office Building. It was organized by the American Federation of Government Employees as part of its 2019 Legislative & Grassroots Mobilization Conference.
The protesters stood in silence for 35 minutes — one for each day of the shutdown.
At the end of the protest, the gathered crowd shouted “never again,” demanding lawmakers not to subject the nearly 800,000 workers to the instability a shutdown causes.
The AFGE is the largest federal employee union, representing about 700,000 workers.
If a new spending package is not passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump by Friday at 11:59 p.m., parts of the government would shut down again.
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On Wednesday, the union’s president, J. David Cox Sr. released a statement calling on lawmakers and President Donald Trump to not put federal employees through another shutdown.
“The employees standing here today, and the American people, deserve a government that works and never ever considers shutting it down for any reason,” he said.
Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.