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PHOTOS: Over 1000 Activists Hold Vigils in Over 100 Congressional Offices on Capitol Hill

by Van Le on 12/12/2013 at 6:45pm

Today, more than 1000 advocates shut down more than 100 Congressional offices during a coordinated blitz for immigration reform on the second-to-last legislative day of the year.  The advocates asked House Republicans to support reform with a path to citizenship, and warned their Representatives that they will be back in 2014, an election year.

Different Congressional offices responded in a variety of ways to the advocates, as Capitol Police looked unsure of how to respond to so many people.  Speaker Boehner and GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy’s offices remained locked and unresponsive to the visitors, as they have been for much of the last few weeks.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office, however, was receptive, and listened as the advocates prayed and told their stories.  Other offices that opened their doors (according to Twitter) included that of Reps. Coble (NC), Culberson (TX), Fitzpatrick (PA), Forbes (VA), Gerlach (PA), Grimm (NY), Hanna (NY), Steve King (!) (IA), Meehan (PA), Murphy (PA), Rahall (WV), Scalise (LA), Shimkus (IL), Walden (OR), and Webster (FL).

In contrast, the offices of Michele Bachmann (MN), Buck McKeon (CA), Dana Rohrabacher (CA), and Joe Wilson (SC) kicked their visitors out and called Capitol Hill police on them.  John Duncan Jr.’s (TN) office even threatened their delegation, asking them how much money they had to get out of jail.

Before the Congressional visits even started, Hill Police reportedly evicted more than 200 advocates out of the cafeteria where a number of them were congregating, despite it being a public space.  Some groups who were leaving Congressional offices also reported police threatening to arrest them even though they were already on their way out of the building.

Afterward, the crowd headed down to the Mall, where the #Fast4Families was holding a rally to break their fast.

In short, the action was a brilliant conclusion to an amazing year of activism on immigration reform–and a fitting reminder that our movement is not going away.  View our favorite pictures from today:

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