Anti-war protesters plan to storm the inside and outside of the Hart Senate Office Building at 11:30 a.m. today, with the intent of causing enough havoc to shut business down.
David Swanson, one of the original organizers of the October 2011/Stop the Machine protests — which is distinct from the Occupy D.C. protests in McPherson Square — explained the plan to an assembled crowd of less than 100, mainly elderly and middle-aged protesters in Freedom Square Tuesday morning.
The plan is to send protesters into the Hart building in small insurgent groups, which will begin causing chaos at 11:30 a.m.
“If you go inside, there are people who are wanting to go into the elevators and fill them and not get out and push all the buttons. If you like that, do it,” he said.
The activists also plan to block access to bathrooms.
“There are people who would like to sit down and block the hallways that connect that building to the adjacent building: Do that. There is a big atrium in which banners can be dropped from various levels and people can line up. People can gather at the floor level or around at various levels up above, and we are going to have chants and songs. And by all means, think of chants and songs.”
Some protesters will also gather outside Hart. What they don’t want, emphasized Swanson, is for everyone to head down to the Capitol in a march.
“We are trying to time everything to 11:30. We don’t want to have a march. This is extremely difficult to communicate. We want to avoid having a march,” he said.
Swanson and other organizers further emphasized that the protesters should be non-violent and avoid destruction, but encouraged the protesters to get arrested if they were so inclined.
The message of the demonstration, stated Swanson, was anti-war in nature.
“The message we are taking is tax the rich and end the wars,” he said.
When the floor was opened up for questions, one protester asked how he could confront Republican House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor.
“Personally, I would like to look Eric Cantor in the eye and tell him he sucks,” the protester said.