In good company
There was a crowd of about 10,000 in DC yesterday on the mall and at the Capitol to push for comprehensive immigration reform. The protests came as most attention in Congress was focused on the standoff over the partial government shutdown and the partisan disputes over health care and fiscal policy, pushing immigration to the side.
Eight members of the House of Representatives were arrested: Joseph Crowley and Charles B. Rangel of New York, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Al Green of Texas, Luis V. Gutierrez and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona and John Lewis of Georgia. More than 150 other protesters, many from labor unions and immigrant organizations, were also arrested after they sat down and linked arms in the same street. I was among the 200 or so protesters participating in civil disobedience.
We got out of jail at 3:00 in the morning after going in shortly after 5:00 pm. We are not sure if the government shutdown is to blame, but we did hear Capitol Police say that while they are on the job, it's unclear if they will get paid. But they were friendly and we do believe the event helped advance the cause at this critical juncture.