The organizer of an event in which more than 5,700 people are vowing to dump their trash on the lawn of Speaker John Boehner’s Washington, D.C., home says he wants to keep the protest lawful and orderly.
Nolan Treadway, a staffer for Netroots Nation, tells HOH that the Facebook event that he created Wednesday with his pal, graphic designer Jonah Goodman, started off as a joke. But as of this morning, thousands of volunteers were lining up to bring trash to the Ohio Republican’s house. Treadway is trying to dial back some of the protest’s trashier aspects, saying he wants to make the actual trash dump “more symbolic” and says he doesn’t plan on setting a foot on Boehner’s lawn.
“We can make our point without trashing our city or breaking laws,” he says.
He also says he doesn’t plan to post Boehner’s D.C. address on Facebook, as the event invitation originally promised, and says he plans to meet participants on Capitol Hill and march to Boehner’s block instead.
And now, a much smaller counterprotest is being planned, in which volunteers will clean the trash from Boehner’s lawn and place it on the lawns of the anti-Boehner event organizers.
Attendees RSVPing “yes” to the larger event seemed to have various reasons for wanting to bring their trash to Boehner: Some seemed to be protesting Boehner’s role in the shutdown, while others decried Washington’s lack of “home rule.”
The confusion prompted Nolan and Goodman to clarify just what the target is. “Many people are mistaking this for a protest over Congress not passing a budget,” they wrote in an update. “This isn’t about that, but is a result of that. If the Federal Government shuts down, Washington DC will not be able to spend money on non-essential services.”
They also urged protesters to be respectful of neighbors and not to leave “mysterious bags” around the city.
Still, a rival protest (16 strong) promises to clean up after the larger protest and deliver the trash to Nolan and Goodman’s homes.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.