One of the biggest conservative criticisms of the Occupy Wall Street movement is that it has been too focused on protesting corporations and not focused enough on protesting Congress. Well, OWS protestors are now calling for a massive occupation of the National Mall when Congress returns from its winter recess on January 17th. The Occupy movement has been revitalized by recent outrages over the National Defense Authorization Act and the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act.
The group’s official Facebook page not only provides information about what they will be protesting, but transportation information for Occupiers all over the country to convene on the mall together. But this week, the Occupy Congress movement took another step towards organizing the protest by applying for a permit to camp out on the National Mall. The group posted a copy of the permit to the Facebook page. The permit states that the protest would be held from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM, and the purpose of the protest would be to organize “peaceful 1st Amendment demonstrations including holding signs and group speaking.”
As of Wednesday, the National Park Service said they had not received the application, but an update to the group’s Facebook page on Thursday said the Interior Department had confirmed receiving it. However, if the permit is denied, it will not necessarily stop the protest from happening. From the Facebook page:
Submitted…approved or not we’re coming. This will just make it easier to provide some basic necessities and structure to this event.
The official website for the Occupy Congress movement explains the goal of the protest:
It’s time for the American people to send a message to Congress. Ordinary citizens are not being represented by their elected leaders. On Jan 17th 2012, thousands of Americans will arrive in Washington DC and Occupy Congress. We have no affiliation with any Political Party, Union or Political Organization. We are individuals organizing ourselves to send a strong message to our elected leaders…”We have had it with your inability to govern and we are coming to confront you in person!” Peacefully.
We are coming because of the corruption.
We are coming because of the bribery.
We are coming to remind congress that they work for the people.
The largest Occupy protest ever!
A press release issued by the group last week encourages individual protestors to “bring a Petition for Redress of Grievances.” Amusingly enough, the day after Occupy Congress submitted the permit to the National Park Service, an op-ed was published on EnidNews.com titled “Why isn’t there an Occupy Congress movement in U.S.?”
So when Congress convenes in January to ring in the new year, they should expect, at the very least, several thousand protestors nearby keeping them on their toes.
h/t Washington Post
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