Congressional baseball game disrupted by climate activists

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The Congressional Baseball Game has long been promoted as an annual ritual of bipartisan solidarity. Since 1909, House Democrats and Republicans have faced each other on the diamond to show that despite their differences, they can all enjoy a night under the lights in DC as they compete in America’s pastime.

Climate activists say the time for such games is over.

Members of several climate organizations plan to disrupt this year’s game, which is scheduled for July 28, unless Democrats pass a climate law through reconciliation. The legislation was part of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, which pledged $555 billion in investments to fight climate change.

Activists say they don’t think the entire package will pass the Senate, so they are calling for the climate section to be split up into a separate bill.

“We refuse to watch a member of Congress play baseball while the world burns,” said Jamie DeMarco, federal policy director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

The action, titled “Now or Never,” is announced Wednesday morning and is being organized by groups feeling disillusioned with their publicity and publicity work in the 2020 election, which gave Democrats control of the presidency and both houses of Congress. Organizers are keeping details under wraps for now but say there will be a direct action component for activists willing to risk arrest.

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“What we want to make sure is that someone who fails is held accountable,” Demarco said Tuesday, noting that two of the sponsors of this year’s game are oil companies BP and Chevron. “Either you deliver on your climate pledge or voters will hold you accountable.”

DeMarco and activist Michael Greenberg say that barring legislation, this is just the first step in a series of planned actions that will take place, including in states with midterm elections like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“This isn’t just a DC action,” DeMarco said. “This is a DC action showing Congress the energy we will be showing up in their districts. When people see their neighbors taking dramatic risks to their own well-being, they might think, ‘Wow, this is really important,’ and that the Democrats haven’t lived up to their promises.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/07/06/congressional-baseball-game-climate-protest/ Congressional baseball game disrupted by climate activists

Dustin Huang

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