Friday, August 19, 2011

WA, WI, MI Congressmen on break face protests, sit-ins, confrontations

Jobs protest on Mercer Island, Wash.
Americans are giving their Congressional representatives what for as they return home and try to sell their constituents on what a great job they're doing. (It isn't working.)
Unemployed Wisconsinites protested outside premium wine enthusiast Paul Ryan's office yesterday as seven people went in and occupied it. They wore t-shirts that said, "I would rather be working." Dane 101 has been keeping us posted on the ongoing demonstrations against Ryan.
Constituents occupying Rep. Paul Ryan's office in Kenosha have left the building after negotiations with police officers. Upon leaving the office the protesters made statements to those who'd been picketing outside. They gave accolades to the Congressman's staffers for being "amazing" and "polite." They said they chose to leave out of respect for the police officers who alleged the department is currently short staffed.
They'll be back today.

On Mercer Island, Wash., more than 200 people surrounded Rep. Dave Reichart's office in a demonstration for good jobs on Thursday.  Reports the King County Progressive Examiner,

The demonstration, organized by Working Washington with Fuse Washington, and SEIU and other Progressive groups, called attention to Rep. Reichert’s lack of action in working to create new jobs for Washington and for the country. Demonstrators were calling for Reichert to stop listening only to the wealthy and corporations and help create jobs for working class people.
Some tweets from @rstoltz11 add some color:
Protest and flash mob dance spill into the street
'This is what democracy looks like' when folks have fun and protest
Well over 100 chant 'We'll be back!' 'Yes we can' and 'USA'; a shrinking group of tea party protesters look on
Police broke up a protest outside of Rep. Bill Huizenga's office in Muskegon, Mich., two days ago. Reports WHTC News, the police arrived,
...after some of the 200 or so protesters outside had made their way into the office. The group “We the People” was trying to bring attention to what they perceived as a lack of action by the freshman Republican from Zeeland on bringing jobs to Michigan, and had made similar protests outside of the offices of fellow lawmakers Tim Walberg and Fred Upton earlier this week. The protesters dispersed upon the arrival of police, and no arrests were made.
More later. Stay tuned.