Congress

‘Never again,’ hundreds protest against second shutdown in Hart

American Federation of Government Employees held a silent protest Wednesday in the Hart Senate Office Building

J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, holds up his fist as federal workers hold a silent protest for 35 minutes in the Hart Senate Office Building to call on lawmakers and President Trump to keep the government open on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A group of protesters that included labor leaders and worker advocates held a silent protest Wednesday to urge legislators against a second partial government shutdown. 

The protest, which attracted hundreds, was held in the Hart Senate Office Building. It was organized by the American Federation of Government Employees as part of its 2019 Legislative & Grassroots Mobilization Conference.

The protesters stood in silence for 35 minutes — one for each day of the shutdown.

A group of protesters gathers in the Hart Senate Office building to urge lawmakers against shutting down the government again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A group of protesters gathers in the Hart Senate Office building on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, to urge lawmakers against shutting down the government again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the end of the protest, the gathered crowd shouted “never again,” demanding lawmakers not to subject the nearly 800,000 workers to the instability a shutdown causes.   

The AFGE is the largest federal employee union, representing about 700,000 workers. 

If a new spending package is not passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump by Friday at 11:59 p.m., parts of the government would shut down again. 

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On Wednesday, the union’s president, J. David Cox Sr. released a statement calling on lawmakers and President Donald Trump to not put federal employees through another shutdown. 

“The employees standing here today, and the American people, deserve a government that works and never ever considers shutting it down for any reason,” he said. 

Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.