by Armando Trull
April 15, 2011 – About 100 protesters used Emancipation Day to underscore that the District is still under the thumb of congress. Three protesters, including shadow Sen. Michael Brown, sat in the street and blocked traffic in front of the Senate’s Hart Building. They were later arrested.
Brown says he’s furious that Congress is mandating how the District spends its funds.
“These people feel they have the right to ignore the principles of democracy and tell the people of the District of Columbia how to run their lives,” he says.
About 100 protesters of all ages and races cheered as the men were taken away in plastic handcuffs. D.C. resident Josh Burch brought his baby daughter Carina.
“I’ve never been able to vote for anyone in the House or the Senate, and now that I have a 4-month-old daughter, I want to make sure by the time she’s 18, she can vote for a representative and two senators the way everyone else in this country can,” Burch says.
Chanting protesters pointed to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s office. They say he caved in to Republican lawmakers who included riders in the budget resolution barring D.C. from paying for abortions and setting up a controversial school voucher program.