Hello from Washington, DC! Yesterday, over four buses of Philadelphians pulled into our nation’s capitol. Our mission: bring our message to the politicians and lobbyists that represent the richest 1% of America over the needs of the 99%.
For too long — since we first requested a meeting in early July — politicians like Senator Pat Toomey have refused to meet with us. Senator Toomey’s refusal to meet with ordinary, everyday Philadelphians just goes to show where his priorities rest.
That’s why, yesterday, we went into Senator Toomey’s office in Washington, DC and requested a meeting in person. But Senator Toomey was seen ducking out the back door, escorted by security, and even refused to look up at those who called his name to even just say hi.
Today, Fight for Philly and our sister organizations from all across the country marched on K Street — the home of the lobbyists that protect the interests of the 1%. Despite the pouring rain, no amount of water could seem to put out the fire that has been sparked in all of us.
Take a look:
On our 10-block journey, we first paid a visit to the building of the lobbyists that represent General Electric. There, One Pittsburgh’s John Lacny discussed how GE’s lobbyists are gaming the system for their clients. Despite worldwide profits of $14.2 billion in 2010, GE managed to not pay any taxes on them. In fact, GE received a tax benefit of $3.2 billion last year.
As we continued our trek in the rain, we rallied outside of a Wells Fargo branch, where they managed to lock the door upon a delegation that wished to speak to a manager. Yet, three years ago, Wells Fargo welcomed, with open arms, a taxpayer bailout of our money. It was not the “thank you” that we deserved.
Finally, we reached the intersection of K and 16th Streets Northwest. There, the street known to be the home of the 1% became the People’s Street. After 45 minutes of chanting phrases like “we are unstoppable, another world is possible,” and getting some angry stares from K Street lobbyists, we were warned by police to move to the sidewalk.
All but a few very brave people decided to listen, and they weren’t about to move for anything. Finally, the police gave them a final warning before making arrests and loading them up in a police wagon. We cheered them, and marched back to the DC Mall, where the rest of our day now continues.
Our trip — which isn’t even yet half-over — has been a resounding success. No longer will our message be ignored by the bought-and-sold politicians and lobbyists that represent the 1%. We’ve taken our spirit, our determination and our fearlessness, and showed them that we shall not be moved.