Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke at a march in Washington, D.C., Thursday, which was organized by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and attended by the Women’s March Organization, to protest the government shutdown.
Referring to President Trump, Sanders proclaimed, “Grow up, do your job, end this shutdown.”
“Grow up, do your job, and end this shutdown,” says @SenSanders to the protesters here at @AFLCIO.#StoptheShutdown pic.twitter.com/8IlD1d5bEo
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) January 10, 2019
Sanders spoke very briefly to the crowd, saying, “It is unbelievable that we have a President of the United States who is prepared to deny basic governmental services to millions of Americans who need those services.”
He continued, “So today, we say to this president: Grow up, do your job and end this shutdown.”
The event was held adjacent to the White House on 16th street in downtown Washington, D.C., and involved the collaboration of several labor unions, as well as the Women’s March Organization, featuring numerous speakers including union leaders as well as a handful of Democratic congressmen.
Many of the speakers repeated that Trump was “holding government workers hostage” and that Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needed to “do their jobs” and end the government shutdown.
We don’t want a wall. We want a functioning government. #StopTheShutdown pic.twitter.com/rx49OSH6FC
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) January 10, 2019
Hundreds of protesters were in attendance, chanting, “Do your job!” and “Let us work!” while holding signs that expressed similar sentiments pressing to end the government shut down.
At 1 p.m., the large crowd began marching from 16th street to the White House, led by American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox.
#StopTheShutdown rally marches to the White House led by @AFGENational President @JDavidCoxSr pic.twitter.com/xxGjs0KJ1R
— Cheston McGuire (@AFGECheston) January 10, 2019
The Daily Caller interviewed several of the protesters at the event. When asked if Trump not getting his wall is more important than ending the government shutdown, protester Willie Beckton said that “Democrats should stand firm as long as they have to,” also calling the president a “spoiled brat.”
Another protester, Annett Powell, who was associated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union, responded to the question by saying, “Government employees going to work should not be part of the conversation.” She then went on to say that the president is “abusing his power” and “should not punish innocent families” by shutting down the government.
We also asked several of the federal employees at the rally what they thought about being considered “non-essential” workers. One government employee said that “it’s a little bit of a blow to be considered non-essential.”
Another federal employee, who claimed to do scientific research for a government institute — the name of which she asked to be withheld from our report — said that she was “not hurt by [the shutdown]” and admitted that her research work for the government is not of immediate importance.