POLITICS

Take Back The Capitol descends on National Mall

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People from around the country are gathering along the National Mall this week with a simple message.

Protesters set up a tent city on the National Mall. (Photo: WJLA)

While not affiliated with the Occupy movement, Take Back the Capitol shares the same mission. On Tuesday, they went to Congress to remind power brokers of the 99 percent.

Capitol Police confirm one protester has been arrested and charged with unlawful entry. Police arrested the protester at the Longworth House Office Building Room 1023, the office of Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler.

"The government is supposed to be by the people, for the people," protester Carlos Villalobos said. "They are supposed to be our lobbyists, and instead, they are being lobbied to by these corporations."

Another protester, Kyle Serrett, was one of many who made a cross-country trek hoping to be seen and heard.

"If you hear any of the stories of many of the people who are jobless, it just feels hopeless," he says. "The only way to fix that is to end the gridlock. And what more poignant place to be than on the nation's capital on the mall to make that statement."

Their goal is to target the offices of 99 lawmakers who oppose raising taxes on millionaires or bills aimed to create jobs for Americans.

"A lot of us who are working are just a paycheck away from being homeless," protester Jessica Lopez said. "We're here to tell Congress that we're not going to just keep quiet about it."

On Wednesday, the group plans to focus its protests on K Street because it's a hub for lobbyists. On Thursday, the protesters are planning a prayer vigil and march on congressional offices.

The protest is scheduled to conclude Friday.

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