The Dernogalizer

May 21, 2009

Direct Action in Congress

So I went to DC today for a direct action protest.  What happened is that Congressman Rich Boucher of Virginia has been working for weeks to gut and weaken the climate bill so that it benefits the coal industry.  Boucher’s constituents have been unable to meet with him to discuss the issue, but that hasn’t stopped Boucher from meeting with members of the coal industry every single day.  Maybe since he takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from them?  This is in my and the protesters opinions an affront on American Democracy, and an affront on the younger generation’s future.  Since Boucher has been blocking meaningful action, a bunch of activists decided to block his office, along with others outside the blockage point encouraging and supporting the people risking arrest.  I went to voice my support for those risking arrest.  I thought this was a successful action.  There were about 50 people protesting altogether, and around 15 arrested for refusing to move.  There were a good deal of media there, radio, pictures flashing left and right, and letters from Boucher’s upset constituents were delivered inside.  Sites with photos are here and here.  Also, more photos here.  Below is a pic of myself and fellow UMD student Bob Hayes.  I look short since I’m leaning against the wall.

Now, as I’ve written before, I support the Markey-Waxman climate bill.  I would much rather have it than nothing, and although I would like to see improvements, I know that politically it’s unlikely at least in the Energy and Commerce Committee that it can be strengthened.  I’m more hopeful that it can be made better in the Ways and Means Committee and on the House floor, since they are more progressive on energy legislation than the bought out Energy and Commerce Committee.   That being said, one of the reasons it’s been so hard to get a strong bill out of this committee is Rick Boucher.  He has been the leader of the coal and oil state Democrats working to gut the bill in any and every way possible.  Coal lobbyists can meet with him.  His own constituents can’t.  That is disgraceful, and for this reason I feel this protest and sit-in was warranted.  CCAN has an article on the sit-in, and I would expect other media outlets to as well later in the day and tomorrow.  If I come across that media, I will add it to the bottom of this post.  Grist has already covered it.

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

**Update 5/22/09**: Videos below

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8 Comments »

  1. […] have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the coal industry.  Not surprisingly, he has led the charge on weakening the bill, and will continue to do so in a way that threatens to render it ineffective […]

    Pingback by Small Steps, Big Problems « The Dernogalizer — May 27, 2009 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

  2. […] have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the coal industry. Not surprisingly, he has led the charge on weakening the bill, and will continue to do so in a way that threatens to render it ineffective […]

    Pingback by Small Steps, Big Problems | CCAN Blog — May 27, 2009 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  3. […] push for strengthening. Sources at the end. By the way, this doesn’t mean I’m not at direct actions protesting what I find […]

    Pingback by Column on Waxman-Markey Bill | CCAN Blog — June 18, 2009 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  4. […] push for strengthening. Sources at the end. By the way, this doesn’t mean I’m not at direct actions protesting what I find […]

    Pingback by Column on Waxman-Markey Bill « It’s Getting Hot In Here — June 18, 2009 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  5. […] provisions that some in the environmental community are determined to ignore, when I have made demands to representatives they have always been for a stronger bill.  This is a mediocre bill.  The […]

    Pingback by Waxman-Markey Passes House 219-212! « The Dernogalizer — June 26, 2009 @ 11:43 pm | Reply

  6. […] provisions that some in the environmental community are determined to ignore, when I have made demands to representatives they have always been for a stronger bill. This is a mediocre bill. The biggest […]

    Pingback by Waxman-Markey Passes the House 219-212! « It’s Getting Hot In Here — June 26, 2009 @ 11:47 pm | Reply

  7. […] provisions that some in the environmental community are determined to ignore, when I have made demands to representatives they have always been for a stronger bill. This is a mediocre bill. The biggest […]

    Pingback by Waxman-Markey Passes House 219-212! | CCAN Blog — June 26, 2009 @ 11:49 pm | Reply

  8. […] a strong climate bill, it’s Rick Boucher. That’s why back in May, I was present at a direct action protest in the halls of Congress, where some blocked Boucher’s office and were arrested. At that […]

    Pingback by Obama: “I love Rick Boucher” | CCAN Blog — July 29, 2009 @ 11:43 pm | Reply


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