Loose Lips

Mayor Vince Gray, D.C. Councilmembers Arrested!

Vince Gray, D.C. Councilmembers Protest D.C. Budget Riders

Mayor Vince Gray and several members of the D.C. Council sat down in the middle of Constitution Avenue NE near the Hart Senate Office Building late today to protest "riders" in the budget deal Congress and the White House reached Friday night, which ban the District from using local funds to pay for abortions and reinstate a voucher program for schools. Capitol Police arrested several people at the protest—including Gray, who announced his arrest on Twitter.

Washington City Paper's Lydia DePillis is there—look for a longer report from her later.

UPDATE: NBC4 has this video of Gray being arrested:

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

Photo by Lydia DePillis

  • Keith

    Im not really fond of the publicity-stunt-arrest-practice

  • Tformation

    It's about time!!!!

  • Columbia Heights

    These idiots need to be protesting against illegal immigration.

  • Steve

    I'm not really fond of Republican bigots from states 1,000 miles away telling D.C. residents what we can and cannot spend our OWN tax money on.

  • Mojo

    Colombia Heights: Go back to Kansas.

  • watchingtoo

    DC local government has never fought for any citizen and never will. They are fighting for the right to misuse moneys and/or for their pay.

  • Really?

    Tell them Steve!!!!!!!

  • Columbia Heights

    @Mojo, sorry I am black and a native Washingtonian. There are a lot of blacks in DC against illegal immigration. Wards 1 and 4 have been saturated with illegal Salvadorans and other Central Americans. I have to live in this shit daily. I don't know where you live in DC, but my neighborhood is saturated with third world illegals living in overcrowded apartment buildings.

  • Columbia Heights

    Mojo, I graduated from Cardoza Senior High School in 1967. I went on to attend North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro graduating in 1971. I've never been to Kansas.

  • Living in Redneck Hell

    Colombia Heights, there is a little redness showing around your collar. DC needs to have a city-wide STRIKE. No one at all come to work for 1 week. Then wait 2weeks,if there is no change..City-wide strike for 2 weeks......yoou get the drift. DC NEEDS FULL VOTING RIGHTS NOW!!!!

  • Divalicias

    Good for them! DC is treated horribly by this GOP House of Representatives. There needs to be more of this and I hope this is just the beginning -- fight the power DC!

  • Columbia Heights

    Living in Redneck Hell, if the majority of DC residents gave a shit about this issue, wouldn't you think they would have been at this protest today? The majority of residents in DC are apathetic. Shit, you can get them to attend a Civic Association, ANC, PSA, or any other community meeting.

    Once the District has a majority white population that reflects the entire country, whites in Congress will give the city representation. Back the way, there are a lot of so called Rednecks within the Democratic Party. On 200 people turned out at this rally and I question, how many were DC residents? There are 600,000 people living in DC. Some are citizens and some are not, meaning they cannot vote.

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  • Columbia Heights

    Correction: Watching Chuck on NBC

    Once the District has a majority white population that reflects the entire country, whites in Congress will give the city representation. By the way, there are a lot of so called Rednecks within the Democratic Party. Only 200 people turned out at this rally and wonder, how many were DC residents? There are 600,000 people living in DC. Some are citizens and some are not, meaning they cannot vote.

    I didn't see the white DC Councilmembers like Jack Evans, David Catania, Mary Cheh, Jim Graham, Phil Mendelson at this rally. Half of the DC Council need to be in jail for misappropriating DC tax dollars.

  • http://genxaestheticism.com eve

    I understand and agree with Mayor Gray being arrested to protest DCs taxation without representation (since it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL) ... but to fight for the "right" to kill? Leave my tax dollars out of that insanity. I don't want to participate in a woman vacuuming her own offspring.

  • esthermiriam

    Let's not forget -- the insulting ideas came from Republicans in the House, but were agreed to by the Dems in the Senate AND the President, who likes to be cheered by tourists.

  • DC Ward 4

    This sideshow is getting old. Vincent "Crony" Gray and Kwame "Shiny Wheels" Brown are just using this to deflect attention from the real issues. DC pols have 99.9% control over the government but waste time "protesting" those mean ol' Republicans' 0.1%. Waaaaaaa! Gray has a $300 million budget to balance. The schools suck. Solve THOSE problems.

    Ward 4 DC Councilwoman Muriel Bowser, Mayor Gray, and other DC Councilmember should be protesting against illegal immigration in the District of Columbia. Everyday I hear my neighbors complaining about illegal immigrants and there bad behavior and living habits in the neighborhood. Myself and my neighbors have been living in our Ward 4 DC neighborhood for 50 and 60 years. My family moved to their current house in the 16th Street Heights area in 1957.

  • Whatever

    A desperate man will do anything to take the attention off of all of the District hire issue. What a publicity stunt! Name the rest of your cabinet why don’t cha.

  • Noodlez Nephew


  • Shepherd Park Ward 4

    @Noodlez Nephew, you probably are right. Most DC residents don't care about this. They are not politically active or involved.

  • Really?

    Eve...please! So I take you don't mind paying on the back end. Ya'll bitch when the kids are here and now bitchin if a woman chooses to terminate and doesn't have the funds. What is conveniently let out the conversation is that these are low-income women.

    You can't have it both ways

  • itsjustamess

    I honestly never relish the idea of seeing Black men cuffed and hauled off to jail yet this one occasion, I am prepared to make a concerted effort not to show my glee. Today's theatrics did not move me one iota as neither did the poor acting performances at last Thursday's hearing.This stunt was just a dress rehearsal for when the real arrests of Vince Gray and Kwame Brown are made. Difference is those plastic ties will be replaced by some strong sturdy real handcuffs. Similarity is people will be cheering en masse.

  • Anothernative

    These are the same techniques used in the civil rights movement minus the dogs and fire hoses. It worked then and I can remember some of the same nay saying pessimistic attitudes then comming from the hate mongers. I don't care what you transplants think of the Mayor it's truly admirable what they are doing,remember the journey always starts with the first step. The people should heed this example and get active cause when you shine light on roaches they scatter and the light of the world needs to shine on these bigots. Democracy, is being made a mockery in this our Nations Capitol.

  • informed_underserved_voter

    If the council and mayor hadn't already repeatedly shown themselves to be disingenuous towards the citizens they represent, I might take them seriously. Just watching their expressions as they were being approached for detainment made me laugh, because Somewhere-in-the-Middle Biddle, I-Don't-Know-What-to-Do-With-Myself Alexander, Fully-Loaded Brown, I-Bend-With-the-Wind Bowser, and I'm-Finally-on-the-News Wells, all looked so eager and excited when those cameras were turned on them getting their turn.

    Serious issue for us and a great photo op for them.

  • DC Elected Official Crap

    The feds finally got chairman brown's fingerprints. At least they will now be on file when he is indicted for stealing campaign funds. I also see the FBI charging him with public official corruption.

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  • Southeast Ken

    DC Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells was the only white Councilmember arrested. Where was Miss Catania, Miss Graham, Ward 2 DC Councilmember Jack Evans, Ward 3 DC Councilmember Mary Cheh, and DC At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson? I didn't see Ward 5 DC Councilmember Harry Thomas. He and Kwame both need to be lock up in jail along with Jack Evans and Miss Graham.

  • Southeast Ken

    My Ward 7 Couniclmember Alexander looked like an idiot with blonde hair sitting on the ground laughing. I guess getting locked up was funny to them. The next time, they should put her in a jail cell with a big muscular lesbian named Suleka.

  • LacaiRaine

    I just returned from 119 D Street NE where national Capitol Police transported 41 DC residents to finalize their police booking for Civil Disobedience charges in connection with their protest on Constitution Avenue NW on Monday, April 11.

    As a 17-year transplanted DC resident, I could not have been more pleased and proud to be a DC resident than TODAY; my Mayor, my Chair, my Councilmembers standing up for the residents of Washington DC by putting their bodies on the line.

    I am so proud of Mayor Gray; I am honored that I have the distinction of being able to not only tell my young adult children of the convictions of men and women in the Civil Rights struggle but now I can show them a modern day Civil Rights struggle being played out on the steps of the Capitol. As District residents they can now see how honorably and forthrightly their leaders rose to the challenge.

    Today, in police custody, Mayor Gray, Chairman Brown, Councilmembers Bowser, Wells, Brown, Alexander and Biddle were booked, fingerprinted, body-scanned and incarcerated. These leaders stood with 35 of their DC residents in this common purpose of openly challenging this "Congresses" igregious and self-serving "taxation without representation" and "disrespect" of the District of Columbia residents.

    Again, I am so deeply honored and proud to be a District resident!!!!!!

  • itsjustamess

    @Anothernative - I am no transplant. I am a bonafide native Washingtonian and I am still not amused neither swayed by this clownish circus-like sideshow. If our local pols want to impress me, they can start by turning in their resignations expeditiously, apologizing to DC residents for their many transgressions, thereby stopping the hemorrhaging of our taxpayers' dollars, resources, and goodwill. Those buffoons thought it was a hee-haw moment to go to jail for a mere 5-10 hours. Wait until they go for 5-10 years and we'll see who'll be laughing then.

  • briefly

    It'd be nice if they devoted half this sort of concern to crime and murder in DC. But there's no camera's there for that...

  • Bearfoot

    @Steve>> and yet here I am thousands of miles away and your town makes decisions on things that effect me here.

    You're just goign to have to deal with that.

  • informed_underserved_voter

    This is a serious matter, but having attended numerous community meetings with my Ward 4 councilmember and various others among the DC Council, I am skeptical about their genuine concern about this issue. Most phone calls and emails to their offices are unanswered, and on too many ocassions, they have openly brushed off their constituents in public forums. So, now we have a contentious budget battle that provides traction for the DC voting rights crusade, and they are publicly "sacrificing" their freedom for the cameras. From the expressions on their faces, you'd think they were on a field trip.

  • whatastunt

    All show and no substance....tell them the 60's have come and gone. Worry about things you can control like your friggin staff feeding at the trough like a bunch of pigs

  • Education2way

    If you were seriously fighting for your rights, I highly doubt you would have a councilmember laughing all through the camera.

    DC doesn't have voting right because the political leadership isn't worth of vouching for those rights.

    Imagine how crazy the scandals would be if we were a state.

  • PearlGirl

    If political leadership were a test of citizenship rights, Congress would have taken control of Illinois decades ago. The 60s may have come and gone but those actions worked.


    I don't see how any Black person could try and look down on civil disobedience as a means of expression. Although uncle tomism is apparrently still alive and kicking. For all of you that may not have lived through the civil rights period, take a minute and open a history book, if you can't do anything else take a look at the pictures. The rest of us need to do some serious and honest soul searching, with exception to the racist we know where your pathetic minds can go.

  • Respected Citizens

    Hats off for the protest which is the discussion for today.

  • Education2way

    @4OURFUTURE I don't look down on it, but for councilmembers who are currently in scandals, im not buying it. Once they are released you got harry Thomas out there dapping up councilmembers like its all fine & dandy. Its a double edge sword.

    No one believes in our political structure, until someone screams "DC Should Be a State". It's baffling, how are embarrassed people view DC as a joke because our leaders have poor judgement then we praise them like their are the greatest thing since sliced bread because they got arrested for funds for abortion.

    Newsflash: Gray just raised taxes on a class, still have a budget deficit, schools are still terrible, HIV/AIDS is still crazy, ONTOP OF Cronyism & other scandals.

    Im not sold on crying for what I haven't earned or worked hard to show progress upon. Neither should you

  • LaCaiRaine

    Education2way...Why should DC residents have to show Congress "anything"?!?!?!?!?!?! Do other jurisdictions???? Absolutely NOT!!!!

    I may not agree with Arizona's policy on Immigration but I most certainly cannot have my Representative withhold the tax money that their residents raise to support their ecomony because of my beliefs. That is the ONLY argument to have here...we earned it, paid for it, and should be allowed to spend it as we see fit.

  • Drez

    the reason it worked then was precisely because of the dogs and fire hoses. Brave people standing up in the face of injustice at the risk of great personal harm (or even death) make for a compelling narrative.
    Today what, the US has are choreographed emedia events. The officials are told ahead of time to expect "civil disobedience", and the hollow shell, the second rate reproduction, of the protests you reference proceed smoothly from there.
    And, in the end, it's cathartic, safe, and ignored.

  • LewisJones

    The best chance for DC to have been declared a state was when Anthony Williams was in office. The city was financially responsible and DC was looked upon as an opportunity.

    I agree with @LaCaiRaine that our time to be a state should have already been granted but, I feel where Education2way is saying that we have to act like a state before we can fight for rights.

    These past couple months have been too crazy for us to be protesting especially on the fact to use our money to support "abortions". Why not promote condom usage & just fix our city before we can honestly demand our rights.

    We must seek change in ourselves before we demand other to allow change for us.

  • http://citypaper Tony

    Southeast Ken, the hiatus has made you sharper.Do you think Mrs. Alexander would welcome Suleka?

  • Anothernative

    @itsjustamess, I would love to have seen a person like you with such high morals a couple of years ago in Chicago asking for Daley's resignation. I bet you wouldn't have half the conviction that you are conveying now. It's easy to harp on this guy whom I'll admit, has made some mistake's but you know he's no gangster for real, just moonstruck is all. One thing I know about this Mayor is that he will bounce back, like riding a bike you fall and bust your ass a few time's but you get back on.

  • Anothernative

    @Drez, The hard work as you said has been done. We shouldn't have to resort back to a time when blood had to be shed to get a point across, that's all been done, old fashioned symbalism should suffice in a so called civilized society, don't you think. We do want the world to view us in the highest light of civility, don't we? Acts such as this are meant to put that notion on trial in the eye's of the world.

  • Drez

    I'm sorry, anothernative.
    Power respects power. Not symbolism.
    The world is not so much immoral as amoral.
    Be your own light.

  • http://citypaper Tony

    Anothernative, why would you want him to bounce back? Vincent Gray is not a very good mayor or politician. He has reached a level incompetence.

  • itsjustamess

    @anothernative - I don't doubt that you know Gray or his resilient nature to bounce back from all of his recent buffooned indiscretions but you darn sure don't know nothing about me. I have a long and well archived history of fighting for the rights of DC residents long before yesterday's dramatic re-enactment of civil disobedience and protest. It's ridiculous and sycophantic that you attack me for having high morals yet serve as a willing apologist for Gray who by your own admission is no gangster just "moonstruck." Darn, did you drink his koolaid or just inhale it? It's amazing you are even coherent enough to acknowledge he's made mistakes. DC doesn't need nor want some "moonstruck" mayor prone to make idiotic mistakes because he's too chitterling-eating happy to finally be an invited guest of the party. Oh, we know he's no gangster because even gangsters take care of their people and don't get caught doing petty crimes. You think Gray will bounce back because it's like riding a bike -- you fall and bust your ass a few times but you get back on. Well, it's not always as simple as you believe. The major cause of injuries while riding a bike are due the cyclist's lack of a protective barrier between him/her and the road, an inexperienced rider that does not know the limitations of the machine, an overzealous rider who's hellbent on pushing the bike's threshhold beyond the legal maximum speed, and fuel leakages and spills that are fire hazards. If the stats are correct, then your Leader of the Pack for all of the aforementioned reasons, has been thrown off his fully loaded Harley Davidson and busted his ass for good.
    And trust me, given the extent of his damages to his ass and his bike, there ain't no getting back on.

  • Zebunnisa

    I watched Mayor Gray's interview on Democracy Now! today. It was pretty interesting to hear his thoughts on DC, the federal government and the budget cuts. I believe the show is online on the Democracy Now website.

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