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Unions and progressive groups launching 'Occupy Congress'

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Greg Sargent reports that a coalition of unions and progressive groups including the SEIU, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the Center for Community Change and others is launching "Occupy Congress":

"Thousands of people have signed up to come to Capitol Hill during the first week in December," [SEIU President Mary Kay] Henry says, adding that protesters are invited to make their way to Washington on their own, too. "We're figuring out buses and transportation now."

One idea under consideration -- pending various permitting and other logistical issues -- is to have a series of tents set up on the lawn outside the Capitol, each representing a state, with the number of unemployed in each state prominently displayed. But the optics are still being worked out.

One goal of the protests, Henry says, is to pressure Republicans to support Obama's jobs creation proposals. More generally, the aim is to highlight Congress's misguided obsession with the deficit and overall inaction on unemployment.

Capitol Hill: imagine the plaza in front covered with Occupier tents Photo by rob kall

Henry described this effort as fitting within the "we are the 99 percent" framework established by Occupy Wall Street without trying to co-opt the independence of the Occupy movement. Ideally, this could be yet another way of spreading the pressure coming from the 99 percent and shifting power away from the 1 percent, finding a range of ways for people to be active, from the conventional to the highly creative. From Sargent's report, it sounds like plans are just coming together, so we'll see which direction this goes.



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