Progressives angry at lawmakers’ failure to extend the eviction moratorium, thus potentially leaving millions of Americans on the streets, called for the ‘occupation’ of Congress, prompting parallels with the events of January 6.
The hashtag #OccupyCongress briefly shot to the top 10 of Twitter’s US trends on Sunday, with dozens of progressives demanding the House come back from its six-week recess and reinstate a federal ban on evictions which expired on Saturday.
It’s time to fight our oppressors! ✊🏾#OccupyCongresspic.twitter.com/5Hs1Jk3LBy
“It’s fitting that #OccupyCongress is trending. Not only should there be no end to the eviction moratorium while Congress vacations and a pandemic rages again but we need to keep organizing a widescale housing justice movement to fight nationwide,” Democratic Socialists of America tweeted.
It’s fitting that #OccupyCongress is trending. Not only should there be no end to the eviction moratorium while Congress vacations and a pandemic rages again but we need to keep organizing a widescale housing justice movement to fight nationwide.
The hashtag was also launched in support of the action by several Democratic lawmakers, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush, who spent the night on the steps of the Capitol, with AOC decrying her own party and the Biden administration for dragging their feet on the issue.
We’re out here to extend the moratorium, so where’s Congress? It’s time we come back and #ExtendTheMoratoriumpic.twitter.com/5n2h4NMfEp
We’re still here. We have to reconvene the House and vote to reinstate the eviction moratorium to put an end to the eviction emergency.11 million lives and livelihoods are on the line. pic.twitter.com/qUJIebTkSg
Some, however, saw parallels between the campaign driven by the progressive left and the Capitol riot.
“Let me get this straight. The same people who called January 6 an insurrection and a rebellion now want to #OccupyCongress to extort them into meeting their demands?” one commenter tweeted.
#OccupyCongress to impose will over reps: BRAVEInterrupting Kavanaugh hearings: DEMOCRACYTexas Dems preventing democracy: HEROICUnarmed 1/6 protesters: VIOLENT INSURRECTION OF TREASON
I see #OccupyCongress is trending. It’s confusing, because ever since January 6, I’ve seen numerous tweets stating that entering the “sacred temple of democracy” without an invitation makes someone a “seditious insurrectionist” or worse.
The term #OccupyCongress was trending this weekend as dozens are still behind bars for doing that a half year ago. https://t.co/ZYMPuxvsZ6
The events of January 6 saw hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump flocking to and then storming the Capitol in a bid to stop the certification of the presidential election results they believed were fraudulent.
While #OccupyCongress was trending heavily at one point, the hashtag conspicuously disappeared from the trends shortly afterwards. Some activists suspected a Twitter crackdown. “Twitter is suppressing and silencing poor working class people asking for their rights,” one person said.
The Hashtag #OccupyCongress went from trending #9, to completely disappearing from the trending page.Twitter is suppressing and silencing poor working class people asking for their rights. pic.twitter.com/Z8F5E7xcwU
The eviction moratorium was issued by the CDC to protect tenants who were behind on rent due to the pandemic from imminent eviction, and was repeatedly extended. However, after the CDC extended the moratorium for July, it stated that this would be the final extension, leaving it up to Congress to figure out how to protect the 3.6 million Americans at risk of being evicted.
Even though the Democratic Party controls the House, the last-minute effort to round up enough votes to approve the bill failed on Friday, reportedly after about a dozen House Democrats refused to support it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed the Republicans for blocking the measure, while admitting on Friday that she learned of the need to pass the bill “only yesterday.”
The Democratic Party could have easily united to extend the eviction moratorium. We have the House, the Senate, & the presidency. There is no room to blame Republicans. This was a policy choice and Democrats chose wrong. #OccupyCongresshttps://t.co/LfO0PPWwCL
This is despite US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh signaling in a June ruling that the moratorium could not be extended any further and that the time left should be used for “additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds.”
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