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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.