The Mayor of Washington, DC, Vince Gray, was arrested today protesting the budget restrictions placed on the District as a result of the deal negotiated by Democratic and Republican leadership in order to avoid a government shutdown.
The restrictions encompassed a number of programs championed by the left and denounced by the right, like the needle exchange program and subsidized abortions for impoverished women.
Washington, DC does not have Congressional representation in order to protest these restrictions, so the Mayor and several members of the City Council took part in a protest including 200 others and closed down traffic on Constitution Ave.
"Council Chairman Kwame Brown and council members Yvette M. Alexander, Tommy Wells, Muriel Bowser and Michael A. Brown were among those arrested.
"The protest was organized by the voting-rights group DC Vote.
"'Clearly, both our opponents and friends think D.C. is weak,' DC Vote. said in a statement Monday. 'Neither thinks we are strong enough to fight back against oppression.'
"'We may not have legislative power, but we have the power of the people, and D.C. residents refuse to be treated like second-class citizens,' it continued. 'D.C. is not weak. Tonight, we are going to fight back.'"
I used to work in DC and was astounded that DC had no representation. Resentment over this seeming oversight runs deep in the nation's capital-- even the license plates bear the motto "Taxation Without Representation."