Three protesters, including D.C. Shadow Sen. Michael Brown (center), are arrested by Capitol Police after blocking Second Street Northeast near the Hart Senate Office Building on Friday. Dozens of people lined up outside the building to hold a silent demonstration to protest the passage of the fiscal 2011 budget.
Freeman started planning the protest a month ago, she said, reaching out to students at Howard, Georgetown and American universities. The protest originally was going to be a part of a Tax Day rally for the District’s right to vote in Congress. The passage of Thursday’s budget deal did not change what the protest was about, but instead enhanced their message, the 21-year-old Howard student said.
“Historically, DC Vote has always done something on Tax Day,” Freeman said. “This just got more people more amped up.”
D.C. Del. Eleanor Norton (D) did not participate in the protest but praised it later in a statement.
“I applaud students for giving meaning to Emancipation Day by acting to emancipate the District from continuing congressional violation of our rights,” she said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.