U.S. Capitol Police arrested 17 people protesting outside New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office Monday. The members of #AllOfUs2016 say Schumer is too close to the banking and finance industries to lead Senate Democrats.
Instead, they want former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders to become Senate minority leader. The demonstrators showed up at Schumer's office Monday to ask him not to seek the post.
"This just proves that Wall Street Democrats have not been on our side, are not on our side," said Anna Bonomo with #AllOfUs2016. "So we're going to continue to press them until we have a party that exists for all of and not the elite Wall Street billionaires that the Democratic Party has been serving for years now."
The demonstrators sang songs and held signs with the slogan, “Chuck Out Wall Street."
The protesters also oppose Democrats negotiating with Republican-elect Donald Trump, who they say has a "racist" and "fascist" agenda.
Schumer is expected to be chosen as minority leader this week, where he and fellow Democrats are the only check on Republicans controlling the White House and Congress. Under current Senate rules, most legislation needs at least 60 votes to pass the body and Democrats will have at least 48 votes when the new Congress meets in January.
But the protests are a glimpse at the political currents Schumer will have to deal with in his own party as it rebuilds from the 2016 election. Schumer will have to balance the policy priorities of more liberal members of the Senate, including Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with that of the more conservative Democrats up for reelection in 2018, like Indiana's Joe Donnelly and West Virginia's Joe Manchin.
Capitol police said the demonstrators were charged with a misdemeanor for crowding or obstructing a public building.