Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Tea party activists were on Capitol Hill today lobbying their senators to vote against the pending health care bill. For the most part it was a pretty peaceful exercise in free speech. But Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Mark Meckler says this afternoon, he and a group of activists were met with some "pretty interesting thuggery" when they paid a visit to Sen. Joe Lieberman's office, the man of the hour in the health care debate. Meckler says they went to Lieberman's office, asked for a meeting, and were told that the senator was unavailable. Meckler told the staffers that the group would wait and they all sat down.
But unlike in Sen. Barbara Boxer's office, where the group spent three hours this morning watching C-Span on nice leather couches while Senate staffers ignored them, Lieberman's staff called the cops, according to Meckler. He says that within five minutes of sitting down, Lieberman staffers threatened "to have us arrested and throw us out. We said we were just going to hang out, but they said 'you won't be meeting with the senator,' and they called the police." He says six capitol police showed up and that it was "very intimidating," so when the cops asked them to leave, "We did leave." Lieberman's office did not respond to an email seeking confirmation and the office phones are completely jammed, presumably with calls from other anti-health care activists. Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokesperson for the U.S. Capitol Police, could not confirm the details of the incident, but said that any calls from Lieberman's office may not have generated a report as long as no one was arrested.
UPDATE: Watch the video of the incident here.