US Capitol Police have arrested more than 70 protesters demonstrating outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, demanding a higher salary for low-wage workers.
Protesters on Monday gathered outside the Congress building, calling on legislators to pass new laws to aid low-wage workers.
VIDEO: More than 70 activists including an interfaith coalition of clergy with the Poor People's Campaign @UniteThePoor were arrested on Pennsylvania Avenue near the Capitol this afternoon in a protest for wage, voting, and immigration issues faced by low-income workers. pic.twitter.com/Of8m7cPehh— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) December 14, 2021
The protesters also demanded aid for people without access to health care, parents who need ed child care and immigrants hoping for a path to citizenship.
The protesters said they are tired of waiting for legislation they believe should have come by now and are pressing the Senate to pass an approximately $2 trillion proposal known as the Build Back Better Act before the new year as a “first step.”
“For too long we have heard promises during campaigns that sound like it’s going to lift up the people, and then once people get elected they disappear at the end and during the congressional session because somebody, somewhere has got some deep pockets to say it’s not possible,” the Rev. William J. Barber II, a North Carolina preacher who is co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, told the crowd outside the Capitol. “Well, we refuse to accept the crisis of possibility.”
Barber said to the Capitol Police officers standing off to the side during the protest. “We fight for you and your children.”
He told the officers that the demo was nonviolent.
“We ain’t going to be like January the 6th. We fight for the real people. Y’all ain’t got to worry about us,” he insisted, contrasting their demo to the attack on January 6 by right-wing supporters of former US President Donald Trump.
Police officers, who had told the protesters to disperse, arrested a total of 71 peaceful demonstrators.
A Capitol police spokesman accused the arrested demonstrators of allegedly crowding, obstructing or blocking the streets.