Washington DC mayor arrested in budget bill rally

April 13, 2011 - 0:0

The mayor of Washington DC has been detained by U.S. police while participating in a protest rally against a federal government budget bill that will enforce major spending cuts.

Vincent Gray, who was among a group of protesters blocking traffic, said the government has not offered a “response” to his recent letter regarding budget cuts that affect the Washington DC public, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.
“In the recent past, I sent a letter just a couple of days ago to (Republican) Speaker Boehner (of the House of Representatives) and the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, making the case once again and asking for their support to give the citizens of this city …
[but] I got no response,” he said.
“What Congress has done is just complete disrespect and contempt for us as colonial subjects,” said a member of the DC Statehood Green Party.
One of the protesters, who had left Ethiopia for lack of voting rights, said she did not expect the same thing in the United States, describing the matter as “upsetting.”
Despite U.S. promotion of democracy throughout the globe, the residents of the U.S. capital city do not have the right to have representative in the U.S. Congress. Many years of protest and the city's official efforts to gain the right of representation in Congress has produced no results, despite promises by a number of Democratic presidents, including Barack Obama, to push for the basic right.
U.S. lawmakers had earlier agreed on a record $38 billion in spending cuts to avert a government shutdown that would seriously affect its troubled economy.
The budget bill would prohibit the capital from spending its own local money for reproductive health care services -- affecting low-income women -- on procedures such as abortion, etc. It could also even eliminate initiatives that help prevent the spread of AIDS.
The White House earlier expressed concerns in case the congressional Republicans fail to raise the $14.29 trillion debt limit by May 16.
Republicans at the House of Representatives say that Obama has to agree to further budget cuts, other than the $38 billion, in exchange for his demand over raising the debt limit.
(Source: Press TV)