The next stage of the Capitol Hill Tea Party has begun — the storming of the Hill!
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who heavily promoted this event, has frequently promised that this protest will involve bringing conservative citizens inside the Capitol and the House office buildings to personally confront members of Congress. As she said last week on Sean Hannity’s TV show: “I’d love to have every one of your viewers to join me so we can go up and down through the halls, find members of Congress, look at the whites of their eyes and say, ‘Don’t take away my healthcare.'”
As of right now, there are lines coming out of the House office buildings, and people milling about the buildings and getting set to go in. Let’s see what happens next, as the town halls and Tea Parties go inside Congressional buildings.Late Update: TPMDC’s Christina Bellantoni reports a massive backup of people outside Longworth office building. Hundreds of people are trying to get inside. They have blocked traffic and some supportive cars are honking. It’s a massive disruption. And many protesters are shouting, “Kill the bill!”
Late Late Update: TPM’s Christina Bellantoni has witnessed an old man and several other people apparently being arrested for an as-yet unidentified reason, outside the Cannon building. During the arrest the man kept saying, “Letter From A Birmingham Jail,” and the crowd heckled the Capitol Police and sang “God Bless America.” We’ll have more about this as soon as we can. We have left a message with the Capitol Police.
Late Late Update: Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, public information officer for the Capitol Police, told us that the arrests involved unlawful entry (entering a Congressional office and refusing to leave when told to do so) and/or disorderly conduct (yelling in the hallway outside an office) at Room 235 in the Cannon House Office Building.
Room 235 is the office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — but not the office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Her duties as Speaker are handled at an office in the Capitol building, while 235 Cannon is her standard office as the member of Congress for her San Francisco district.