I could feel the buzz growing about Hayward. Security was tightened. Bags were being checked. Absolutely no protests or demonstrations were being tolerated. Anything that looked like a protest sign was being confiscated. Everything at the Capitol was leading up to Tony Hayward’s appearance in the energy hearing the following day. The room was gonna be packed.
Medea said, “We gotta get there early. Those chair-sitters, holding seats for those lawyers, will be there at midnight waiting to get in.” So five of us went down to the Capital at ten o’clock that night and we were the first ones there.
There are rules for chair-sitters. No leaning, no sleeping. And it’s best to number yourself so there won’t be any confusion on who’s first in line. I was wearing jeans, T-shirt, and rain boots. I was looking as close to a shrimper as I could. Ann had on her BP worker outfit and Medea was still trying to get in with her bird costume. At seven o’clock the next morning the line of sitters outside was led in through a back door and paraded straight to the Senate energy door. A line grew rapidly behind us. By eight o’clock there were a hundred people standing in line and every one of them kept gawking at the front of the line to see if maybe they misunderstood and they weren’t actually so far back. Then the cops showed up. No, Medea’s costume would not go. Take it off, Medea. This is our hall, the cops said. Our hall. I was okay in what I was wearing because I could be anybody. Ann’s outfit was kinda all right. Maybe maybe, they said. Medea had a pink bag full of everything in the sun: complete change of clothes, paint, pens, pink construction paper, and tape. Medea slipped me a little tube of black paint and I stuck it in my side pocket. Would they check me again? Continue reading this excerpt at Alternet. Diary of an Eco-Outlaw by Diane Wilson is available now.