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On June 13, 50 Pennsylvania Action on Climate activists confronted the state legislature to demand that it stop fueling the climate crisis. I was one of 10 PAC activists who entered the gallery of the house and flooded the floor of the house with $203 in $1 bills marked with “Bribe,” “Act now for the climate” and other messages. These communications were expected to shine a light on the greed and responsiveness of many lawmakers to big-money interests as climate change continues to accelerate.

We sang, “You take bribes, the planet dies” and attempted to unfurl a large banner on the balcony with the same message. Capitol police snatched the banner from the hands of two activists. We were all forcibly removed from the room and two were arrested and charged with criminal trespass. The others were escorted out of the building and warned that we would face the same charges if we returned to the premises.

I risked being arrested because I fear the world is on the fast track to climate catastrophe. I spoke truth to power and put my body on the line on behalf of children, future generations and all non-human inhabitants of the planet. Demands for action have been repeatedly ignored by our lawmakers in Harrisburg, many of whom are complicit due to their close ties to the fossil fuel industry. I felt compelled to take nonviolent direct action to get them to work for all Pennsylvanians, not just energy company executives.

Douglas Mason

President Sierra Club Moshannon Group

Port Mathilde

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