The ongoing Tar Sands Protests at the White House continued today, with three or four dozen more arrests. Looking ahead to Tar Sands Action’s schedule for the coming weeks, it seems they’re actually doing something pretty clever: featuring key constituencies on particular days of the protests. Tomorrow (Monday) is Nebraska day; Tuesday is for Montanans; Wednesday for the Gulf Coast; the following Wednesday is for Appalachia, and so on.
One of the key pieces that needs to fall into place if meaningful climate change legislation is to be enacted is movement in public opinion in these (and a few other) key geographic regions. That’s one reason I’ve often been skeptical of protests that target Washington, Copenhagen, and so forth: no amount of protesting will cause elected officials to budge if their constituents don’t. Alarums from the Maldives, however poignant, won’t change Lindsay Graham’s mind unless a bunch of South Carolina voters change their minds too.
These Tar Sands tactics, though, I like. They’re also featuring a number of non-geographical constituency groups, like faith leaders, youth, and indigenous peoples. Good for them. I still think a good next step would be to take the battle *to* Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida, etc. But one can’t do everything at once.