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'Occupy Congress' Converges on Capitol Hill
Group aims to highlight "broken system," corporate control of elections
UPDATE: OakFoSho is streaming live video here.
UPDATE: The Atlantic Wire now reports arrests have begun.
Thousands of protesters under the banner of "Occupy Congress" are expected to converge on Capitol Hill today in what they hope will be the largest Occupy gathering.
"This is going to be the biggest coming together of the most diverse group of occupiers from around the country," said Ben Zucker, a member of the Occupy D.C. media team, told WMAL.com.
The congressional protest – which falls on the movement's four-month mark and the beginning of a new session of Congress – appears to represent a strategic shift aimed at winning support of the many Americans disillusioned with the legislative branch.
Highlighting the corporate control of politics, one occupier explains to WMAL:
"One of the big grievances ... is the corporate money in politics and corporate influence on politic elections," said Lucas Thayer, 26, a Los Angeles resident who travelled to D.C. for the events. "We feel that corporations own our country now and the people don't actually control it, so it is not a true democracy."
Thayer admitted that Congress has not paid much attention to the protesters but that he was determined to get Americans' attention focused on their message. "Congress doesn't intend to listen to us because we don't have money to give them," he said.
Explaining the motivation behind the day of action, the group says on the Occupy Wall Street website:
Our nation, and our world, is in crisis and our “elected” officials have failed us. They refused to hold their bankrollers—Wall Street—responsible for the financial crimes that bankrupted our nation and destroyed the global economy. This last legislative cycle was the least productive in recorded U.S. history; 90% of the country disapproves of these “elected” officials.
We refuse to accept the grim future that Wall Street’s cronies have designed. We refuse to be the 1%’s captive citizenry. We stand together to show that the 99% are creating a better world.
The 99% will no longer be complacent. Our many voices will be amplified on the steps of Capitol Hill. We shall have a nation by, for, and powered by the people once again. We are building it.