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Protesting the widespread economic hardship caused by the ongoing shutdown and demanding that the Senate vote to reopen the government, federal workers and their allies gathered inside the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday for a 33-minute silent demonstration—one minute for every day the government has been partially closed over President Donald Trump's demand for border wall funding.
"The protest happening right now in the Senate office building is just the start," declared MoveOn.org's Ben Wikler. "Public outrage is spiking. GOP senators are feeling the pressure."
The union-organized demonstration comes as the Senate is set to vote Thursday on two competing measures to reopen the government—a Trump-backed bill that would fund the border wall and a Democratic continuing resolution with no wall money.
Happening now: In what they’re calling #OccupyHart, federal employee unions are standing silently in the Hart Senate building for 33 minutes - one for every day of the shutdown. @N2Sreports pic.twitter.com/wLV9vg1gQN
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) January 23, 2019
33 minutes of silent protest here in Hart Senate Office Building for each day of shutdown. Federal workers from various unions holding plates to show they need to feed their families. pic.twitter.com/oNtmwRtgAZ
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Something is Happening. People are Drawing Lines.
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— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) January 23, 2019
— Nicole Ogrysko (@nogryskoWFED) January 23, 2019
After the silence ended, workers led chants of, "No more food banks! Feds need paychecks!"