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General News    H3'ed 4/13/12

Exclusive: Leah Bolger's Statement to the Judge of her Hearing for Disruption of Super Committee Charge

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Message Leah Bolger
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Our elected government repeatedly and consistently ignores the will of the people.

 So, when I saw an opportunity at the Super Committee to literally stand up and petition-- make a plea really on behalf of the American people--I seized it.

 I suspected I would be silenced, or I would be ushered out of the room or possibly arrested, but i also knew that it was a unique and rare opportunity to make sure that the voice of the people -- real honest to goodness citizens was heard-- not just the voice of government bureaucrats or of high paid lobbyists .

 I know that most people are not able to act as I did - TO SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER-IT REALLY IS SIMPLE, STOP THE WARS AND TAX THE RICH .  YES IT TOOK COURAGE to be able to walk to the well of a senate hearing room and directly address Congress.  I acted on behalf OF THE 99% WHO AGREE WITH ME BUT YET DID NOT PETITION CONGRESS .   It seems the only way for the average citizen to be heard THROUGH THE CORPORATE CLUTTER AND LOBBYIST NOISE is through an act of DIRECT PETITIONING , and indeed , I am the sole citizen who was EVER heard by the Super Committee.  

I have been charged with "Unlawful Conduct--Disruption of Congress."  I only wish that my 52-second interruption could have truly "disrupted" the status quo, because if anything needs to be drastically altered, it's Congress, NOT CITIZENS WHO NONVIOLENTLY PETITION THE GOVERNMENT .

I think your Honor understands that I committed this act out of a sense of COMMUNITY responsibility and CITIZEN obligation.  I am aware that the potential penalties that you may impose as a result of my guilty plea include JAIL TIME, community service and fines.

 I would like your Honor to know that at this point I do not intend to pay a fine beyond the victims of violent crime fund assessment.  To do so would violate my personal values AND CONSCIENCE .  One of the main reasons I ACTED AS I DID IS is my objection to the reality that one must pay money - A LOT OF MONEY, in order to have the ear of Congress.

I would also object TO community service as a punishment.   I consider the work that I do every day as a full-time volunteer antiwar activist, AND PRESIDENT OF V FOR PEACE to be a IMPORTANT service to the community.  


Lastly, I would like to thank YOU JUDGE NASH for listening to my statement and considering all of the testimony that has been submitted on my behalf.


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Leah Bolger spent 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired in 2000 at the rank of Commander. She is currently a full-time peace activist and serves as the President of Veterans For Peace.
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