More than 60 protesters gathered today to announce the launch of a new grassroots anti-corruption campaign in response to Sen. Brown’s co-sponsorship of a bill to force through the Keystone XL Pipeline just last week. The campaign, a grassroots effort led by members of the Occupy and climate movements in Massachusetts, plans to draw attention to the $1.9 million poured into Senator Brown’s campaign by the fossil fuel industry and their front groups before his decision to support the pipeline. Protesters see it as an example of systemic corruption of Congress.
“I’m fed up with politicians who take millions from corporate donors and tell us they have our best interests at heart,” said Martin Dagoberto, an Occupy Boston member from New Bedford, “This is out of the bounds of honest politics, and Scott Brown has lost my vote until he drops the high rollers and starts working the rest of us.”
This event will be the first of a series of escalating actions directed at increasing public awareness of the corrosive effects of industry money on our Democracy. The event was attended by several dozen members of the Occupy movement. Occupy Boston recently passed a resolution calling for an end to all government subsidies to fossil fuel interests, an end to energy industry influence on the political process, and the rejection of the catastrophic Keystone XL pipeline.
Protesters are targeting Senator Brown on this occasion because his relationship to both the oil and coal industries are emblematic of the issue. The fossil fuel industry and their front groups have poured $1.9 million into electing Sen. Brown, and he has voted consistently with them since that time. Sen. Brown voted to expand offshore drilling, gut the Clean Air Act, and to put taxpayer money towards subsidizing the fossil fuel industry. Most recently, he has signed on to Senate Bill S.2041, which would force through the controversial and hugely unpopular pipeline. 44 Senators have signed on to the bill. Between them they have received $1,316,130.00 in the 112th Congress, (2010-2011) alone from oil companies.
This campaign is brought to you by a coalition of Massachusetts residents from the climate and Occupy movements in coordination with 350.org Action Fund. The 350.org Action Fund is a project of 350.org– a grassroots international climate campaign working to stop the climate crisis. “350” stands for 350 parts per million, the safe upper limit of carbon in the atmosphere