US Congress staffers arrested from climate protest in senate leader’s office

By Anna Macdonald

July 27, 2022

The protestors’ point was that US Democrats leaders had not used every tool at their disposal to pass climate policy. (Twitter)

Over in the United States, six congressional staffers have been arrested following a sit-in in Democrat and senate majority leader Chuck Schumer’s office, calling on Schumer to open negotiations for more progressive climate-change legislation. 

Saul Levin, who works in policy for US congressional member Cori Bush, tweeted throughout the protest and was amongst those arrested. 

 “We sat in Schumer’s office today for a specific reason: we want people to know that Dems leaders have not used every tool at their disposal to pass climate policy.

“There will always be a straggler (Manchin), but it’s those who set the calendar and rules who need our pressure,” Levin posted on Twitter after the event. 

Congressional reporter for Punchbowl News Christian Hall tweeted a photo showing president of the Congressional Workers Union Philip Bennett being led away in handcuffs.

The other four arrested were Aria Kovalovich, Rajiv Sicora, Courtney Koelbel, and Emma Preston. Each are staffers for various Democratic politicians. 

There have been photos on social media of protesters outside the building as well. 

The US is currently in the midst of political discussion over a climate, energy and tax package, with Democratic senator Joe Manchin withdrawing support from his party’s bill, as reported in The Guardian

Back in Australia, there has also been much discussion over Labor’s proposed emissions bill, with the new parliament sitting this week. 

One of Labor’s election promises was a 43% emissions-reduction target, with the Greens and the crossbench apprehensive the bill does not go far enough. 

Greens’ leader Adam Bandt told ABC News Breakfast his party was negotiating with the government over “areas of concern”, adding the bill had “no teeth”.

“Obviously the target is a very weak target. Part of the reason why it’s a weak target is because Labor has based it on keeping all of the coal-fired power stations in the system and not pulling any of them out early and replacing them with renewables, and that’s a problem,” Bandt said. 

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