DC Mayor, 40 Others Arrested
||Talk Radio News Service
||Tuesday, April 12, 2011
D.C. city leaders and residents took to the streets Monday to voice their opposition to the city-wide restrictions included in a recent budget deal made by Congress.
Forty-one people were arrested - including Mayor Vincent Gray and six other City Council members - by United States Capitol Police after protests staged by DC Vote, a nonpartisan group that fights for increased independence for the District, blocked traffic near the U.S. Capitol Monday. Those who were arrested were eventually released after being detained for as long as ten hours.
According to reports, after Mayor Gray was released he said “we needed to make a statement.”
“If this isn’t taxation without representation, I don’t know what is,” Gray said prior to his arrest, according to the Associated Press.
Included in Congress’ most recent budget deal are provisions that would prohibit the city from using its own tax dollars to fund abortions for low-oncome women and a needle exchange program that is largely believed to be crucial in preventing the spread of HIV in the nation’s capital. Additionally, a school voucher program would resurface should the budget pass in its current form.
The city’s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who does not have the right to vote on the House floor, said that the events that took place Monday showed Congress and the White House that “local residents were acting out of deep and personal outrage and that citizens have a new resolve to fight back.”
In a statement, Norton said she plans to revisit the Rules Committee Wednesday in an attempt to remove the riders from being included.
“We got bargained away,” Norton said, according to reports. “I don’t know for what.”
Norton warned that without a continuing reaction from local officials and city residents, “more riders and other invasions of home rule will come quickly.”