Photo by David Sachs / SEIU: (http://www.flickr.com/photos/the99percent/6463628941/in/set-72157628249763503)
Participants have set up tents at the "Take Back the Capitol" protest happening on the National Mall Dec. 5-9.
A movement called "Take Back the Capitol" brings thousands of activists from around the U.S. to the National Mall this week. This movement, not affiliated with Occupy DC, is part of a nationwide effort to send a message to Congress.
The idea, according to organizers, is to focus more attention on the economy, and the country's dismal job situation. Protesters started gathering in a tent city of sorts on Monday evening and are expected to march to the U.S. Capitol today to speak face-to-face with lawmakers.
One of them, John Butler, is a marine engineer from D.C. who's been unemployed for nearly three years.
"We got people coming from all over the country, and they'll be here to demonstrate that we are all in need of jobs," Butler says. "We're also looking forward to making a change, and influencing some decisions up in Congress."
Supporters led by the local political action group, 'Our DC' say they've planned a series of demonstrations over the next few days. Another protester on the mall Monday, Linda Evans, is an unemployed health care worker from the District.
"Too many people are suffering. In a minute if they don't do something right, this'll be like third world country," Evans says. "And that's not right ... this is the nation's capital."
Although tents have been raised on the mall, some local churches are offering demonstrators a place to sleep at night.