Congressional staffers claimed they put their “bodies on the line” Monday by staging a protest to bring attention to climate change.
The dangerous location of the protest that required risk to life and limb? The air-conditioned office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Saul Levin, a staffer for Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), announced on Twitter that 17 congressional staffers had staged a sit-in protest to demand Congress take action and pass “climate justice policy.”
“We are putting our bodies on the line because we have no other choice,” Levin said.
Unfortunately for the staffers, their protest did not last long.
U.S. Capitol police officers quickly ended their demonstration by arresting them. The entire demonstration lasted only half an hour, according to journalist Andrew Marantz.
Ultimately, Capitol police officers arrested six staffers for refusing to leave Schumer’s office. Those staffers are:
Saul Levin, who works for Bush.
Aria Kovalovich, who works for Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).
Rajiv Sicora, who works for Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.).
Courtney Koelbel, who works for Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).
Philip Bennett, who works for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Emma Preston, who also works for Khanna.
The staffers were reportedly arrested for violating D.C. Code ?22-3302 Unlawful Entry.
The purpose of the protest, Levin later told an NBC News reporter, is to force Schumer to restart negotiations with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to force through a reconciliation bill on climate policy.
When asked why they protested Schumer’s office and not Manchin’s, Levin said, “Because there’s always going to be a sheep that strays away from the herd. It’s the job of leadership to get the party together.”
Ironically, Levin’s father is Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.). One thus wonders why Levin is not petitioning his father to do more to act on climate policy.
Levin, in fact, comes from family of political pedigree.
Not only is Levin’s father a congressional representative, but his grandfather Sander Levin, served in the House for nearly three decades and his great uncle, Carl Levin, served in the U.S. Senate for 36 years.