Coffee Party USA member and founder of Beyourgovernment.org Jonathan Greenberg along with Coffee Party member Jeanne van den Hurk were a big part of the Occupy Congress event. Congress had The People’s welcome. The post below includes interviews by Salon.com with both of them.
Jeanne van den Hurk is running for the US Congress in District 3 South Carolina. She is using the BeYourGovernment platform to get her message out. She is determined to win with people power and not corporate donations.
Occupy Congress greets returning lawmakers
Hundreds of supporters of the Occupy movement from across the country greeted returning members of the Congress on Tuesday with a chorus of mic checks, a blizzard of pinks slips, and an impolite message: “you don’t represent 99% of the country.”
Actually, the message was harsher than that at times. “No Masters, no Congress, no State,” said one banner. “Fuck McCongress” said another. But many demonstrators, gathering under cloudy skies on the west lawn of the Capitol, said they had come in hopes of purging the national legislature, not burying it. Many cited record low levels of approval for Congress, as the reason for coming.
In a massive General Assembly, the differences between those who hope to work within the electoral system and those refuse occasionally flared. When one man said he wanted to burn his voter registration card, many responded with wiggling fingers pointed down, the movement’s gesture of disapproval.
Balancing these tendencies was a challenge for the event’s organizers who battled rumors that the event was sponsored by Van Jones, a former White House aide, who is mistrusted for embracing the Occupy Wall Street movement as a catalyst for change in the Democratic party. Most of the participants had bigger goals.
“We need to get all of the corporate money out of Congress,” said Jeanne van den Hurk, an artist and antiques dealer from South Carolina, who is running for the state’s 3rd congressional district. She said the crash of 2008 had driven more than 300 friends out of the antiques business. When Congress did nothing and then succumbed to what she called “the debt ceiling hostage crisis” last summer, she decided to run against Republican Jeff Duncan.
Vandenhurk was joined by Jonathan Greenberg, founder of Beyourgovernment.org, which seeks to recruit congressional candidates who promise not take any corporate contributions. Greenberg carried a stack of pink slips which planned to deliver individually to Congressmen.
“Our message to them is ‘You’ve lost your job, but you can reapply,” he said. “We just want you to promise not take any corporate contributions,” said Greenberg, who claims to have enlisted 10 candidates in six states.