Protesters Order GOP Obstructionists to “Cease and Desist”
by Jessica Schieder, 10/22/2013
Last week, the government reopened and a default on the national debt was averted at the last minute, but not before Americans frustrated by extremist politics and budget brinksmanship turned out to hundreds of protests across the country.
On October 15, USAction organized 38 events across the country to raise awareness for the impact of the budget crisis on everyday Americans. The participants delivered “cease and desist” orders to the district offices of Republican House members.
These protests represented only a handful of the hundreds of events organized by a wide spectrum of groups ranging from faith based organizations to labor organizations which took place last week.
Roger Lund, chair of the Adams County Democratic Committee in Pennsylvania helped deliver one “cease and desist” order to the York County office of Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA). He said of the shutdown’s impacts: “It’s a ripple effect that is affecting the working people of this county, and it’s unconscionable.”
Michael Morrill, Executive Director of Keystone Progress, attended two Day of Action events in Pennsylvania. He explained that participants were frustrated that some politicians would jeopardize their livelihood and the economy. He elaborated, “Enough is enough of this bashing of our government. Ultimately, our government is good, and it is by and for [the people].”
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), also played a leadership role in rallying citizens in support of government, organizing 148 events in 122 districts. Other organizations which hosted events included the AFL-CIO, AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees), Alliance for Retired Americans, Campaign for Community Change, Fair Share, MoveOn.org, and SEIU (Service Employees International Union).
A circuit judge and Baptist pastor, Wendell Griffin, delivered a sermon at the district office of Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) urging the end the suffering caused by the shutdown. Griffin, who likened the current political situation to the politics described in the book of Jeremiah, urged the congregation to, “Criticize the politicians who dare to talk about caring about ‘family values’ as they voted to strip funding for the food stamp program from the farm bill.”
Nationally, the shutdown is estimated to have drained as much as $24 billion from the economy in less than three weeks. In the interim, Congress’ approval rating has fallen to 5 percent, and consumer confidence has experienced its largest drop since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008.