Dems add pep rally to all-night production

By Jake Whitman

Jul 17, 2007 8:26pm

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports: While the Iraq debate continued on the Senate floor tonight, Democratic leaders added a pep rally to their production of  "All night on Iraq."

Just before 9pm, as darkness was descending and the Capitol dome was just illuminated, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and 30 members from both houses of Congress descended the Senate steps and walked across the street to a professionally lit platform where anti-war protesters were holding a raucous rally."

Reid called for a moment of silence for troops in Iraq before opening the rally.

"Its dark here in Washington," he said. "But its dawn in Baghdad… the 1,582 day of this war…" He commended the American troops there and said, "By nightfall, some of them will probably have died. Some will certainly be wounded."

"All the Senators on the other side who have given impassioned speeches against the President," yelled Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, telling the crowd to see if those Republicans vote for the Democratic amendment. "Count those votes."

There were also impassioned speeches by Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Califonia.

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. "We’re going to wake up the Senate," she yelled. "We’re going to wake up the White House. We’re going to wake up the country. We’re awake tonight!!"

It might not have been everything that Democrats were hoping for – protesters from CodePink and other groups repeatedly tried, to no avail, to interrupt lawmakers speeches with calls of "Impeach, Impeach the war." and "Protect America, Not Israel." But these protesters were definitely in the minority and its unclear that their cries were heard on the TV microphones. If a protester cried in a crowd and noone heard, would the protester have protested at all?

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