'Occupy Congress' Gathers on National Mall

Protest planned to welcome back lawmakers
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2012 11:18 AM CST
'Occupy Congress' Gathers on National Mall
Bruce Lundeen of Harrisonburg, Va., holds balloons to hand out to fellow Occupy Congress protesters who plan a day of demonstrations and activities on Capitol Hill, Jan. 17, 2012.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House members are returning from recess today, and Occupy protesters are braving the rain to yell at them. Protesters are already gathering on the National Mall for an event dubbed "Occupy Congress," the Washington Post reports. Though they were hoping to draw 2,000 to the event, so far they don't appear to have anywhere near that number. There's no firm count yet, but Washington police told Fox News that about 75 people were marching toward the Mall as of 9am.

The Occupiers did submit a formal application for the event, but it's unclear if it was approved or not; organizers told Politico they'd protest either way. Many protesters will of course hail from Occupy DC, one of the few Occupy encampments still running. But the Wall Street Journal reports that pressure is building on the Obama administration to evict the campers, with DC Mayor Vincent Gray urging them to move over health and sanitation concerns. (More Occupy Wall Street stories.)

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