Funny, Pointed Protest Growing at Congressional Hearings
Monday, July 15, 2019
CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Protesting in Congress has a new face, and you could say people aren’t masking their feelings any longer.
A swamp monster appeared behind the former energy lobbyist picked to lead the Interior Department. Women in “The Handmaid's Tale" costumes showed up for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's hearing. And then there's The Monopoly Man.
Independent campaign consultant Ian Madrigal has a sideline, protesting the behavior of powerful companies by appearing at hearings in a top hat, monocle and mustache.
Madrigal said the idea is to get on camera to get his message across.
"Having been the person in the suit awkwardly sitting behind someone in Congress before, I realized that I could very easily get into the shot,” Madrigal said. “People don't realize how open these hearings are. They're meant for the public to attend."
An article last fall by the National Review argued the "near constant" removal of protesters from the Kavanaugh hearing suggested Congress should consider no longer allowing the public to attend. But Madrigal said the First Amendment protects wearing costumes, as long as it's not disruptive.
He said he actually has fewer problems with security when the guards know what he's doing.
"I usually actually come in the building with my full costume on and go through security with the full costume on,” Madrigal said. “It gets me a little bit less grief with security, usually."
He said he thinks our politics have, unfortunately, come to resemble reality TV. But he said this kind of protest uses humor to punch through the noise.
"We expect our politics to be entertaining. A lot of politicians have been very reluctant to embrace that, and so we've seen pretty much a media blackout on anything that's not Trump focused,” he said. “So, I think these kinds of creative actions are a way to take that power back."
get more stories like this via email
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…
SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…
INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …
Health and Wellness
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …