A protest group made up of hundreds of students crowded into a Capitol Hill office building and took over Nancy Pelosi’s office today. Roll Call reports more than 140 people were arrested including 61 near Pelosi’s office:

U.S. Capitol Police on Monday arrested roughly 143 activists, including 61 outside the office of the likely next speaker, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi. The mostly high school- and college-aged protesters demonstrated in or outside nearly 50 congressional offices to urge lawmakers to confront man-made climate change.

The protests were organized by the Sunrise Movement, a group that aims to promote policy action to address climate change and rid political campaign coffers of money from the fossil fuel industry…

In recent weeks, Ocasio-Cortez has prioritized the establishment of a new Select Committee for a Green New Deal with the goal of “meeting 100 percent of national power demand through renewable sources” in the next decade.

The protest started in the hallway outside Pelosi’s office.

https://twitter.com/sunrisemvmt/status/1072170055914397696

As you can see in this clip, it really was a large number of protesters:

https://twitter.com/HipHopCaucus/status/1072173966347915264

It may have started as a “silent protest” but it didn’t stay that way for long.

At some point, they held a sit-in inside Nancy Pelosi’s office and began singing loudly.

The sit-in at Pelosi’s office seems unnecessary since she already agreed to their demands the last time protesters showed up with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Pelosi said this last month:

Today the students also took over Rep. Steny Hoyer’s office:

https://twitter.com/sunrisemvmt/status/1072173142578216962

Here’s video from Hoyer’s office:

Hoyer attempted to mollify them on Twitter but it doesn’t seem to have worked:

Eventually, police issued warnings that the demonstration was illegal.

The protesters did feel they had one success today. Rep. Jim McGovern bowed to pressure and announced he was on board with the Green New Deal:

So what is the Green New Deal? As mentioned above, at this point it’s a call to create a Select Committee whose job would be to create a 10-year plan to end the use of fossil fuels in the United States. Here’s the text of the plan on Ocasio-Cortez website. And here’s a sample:

The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall be developed with the objective of reaching the following outcomes within the target window of 10 years from the start of execution of the Plan:

  1. Dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources;
  2. building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
  3. upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;
  4. eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, including by investing in local-scale agriculture in communities across the country;
  5. eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure, and upgrading water infrastructure to ensure universal access to clean water;

But it’s not just moving to 100% green energy. It’s also a plan to transform the economy, one which will “provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one.” Part of the goal will also be to “mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth.” And oh, by the way, we’re also going to have basic income and universal healthcare: “include additional measures such as basic income programs, universal health care programs and any others as the select committee may deem appropriate to promote economic security…”

As I wrote here, this is AOC’s plan to use climate change as a “vehicle” for transforming the United States into a Democratic Socialist state significantly to the left of Sweden. Is this likely to happen? Then answer is probably not because, for one thing, the cost of the programs she’s proposing far exceeds what Americans are willing to pay. Ocasio-Cortez has mostly given up on trying to explain where the money would come from. Instead, she frames everything as a moral necessity which apparently means we don’t have to discuss the bill.

Last month Vox wrote about all of this and merely described her plans as being as “ambitious” as anyone could imagine. That’s the real danger of socialist ideas. Many people who know better entertain them because it’s easier than explaining to a bunch of enthusiastic high school students that the socialist utopia they are daydreaming about just isn’t possible. Many of these proposals have never worked anywhere and we’re not about to adopt all of them here en masse. But in the short term, it certainly seems as if many of the leaders of the Democratic Party are taking the easy way out and climbing aboard the socialist train with Ocasio-Cortez.