Furloughed workers rally as US govt. shutdown enters Day 20
Angry furloughed US government workers have staged protest rallies across the country, calling for an end to a partial government shutdown that has dragged on for nearly three weeks over President Donald Trump's border wall.
According to Press TV, Trump shut down the government on December 22 after congressional Democrats refused to include the $5.7 billion funding for his wall on the border with Mexico in next year's budget.
Hundreds of protesters braved the icy breeze and cold January temperatures in Washington, DC, on Thursday to protest against the ongoing shutdown.
Most of the demonstrators were furloughed government workers who were not receiving paychecks while the government remained closed.
They held signs and chanted slogans such as "We want to work - now" and "Hey hey ho ho shutdown's got to go."
Similar protests were held in downtown Detroit, where about 100 unionized government employees gathered outside the McNamara Building to demand an end to the shutdown.
"Nobody deserves to work and not get paid," said two protesters who worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The standoff between Trump and Democrats, which has stretched into its 20th day, forced a quarter of the federal government to close down, leaving around 800,000 federal employees unpaid or furloughed.
This means that about half of the government employees who are deemed essential to national security, including border patrol agents, prison guards and airport employees, are working without pay while the other half stay at home on furlough.