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In April, Senators Scott Brown (R, MA) and Sherrod Brown (D, OH) voted to gut the Clean Air Act after being pressured by millions of dollars by the fossil fuel industry and their corporate front groups.

Activists in both states upset by the detrimental vote teamed up with us to hold them accountable. Together we raised over $20,000 from over 300 activists in Massachusetts and Ohio.

In Massachusetts, things didn't go as planned. Their ads were banned by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority for their "political stance." Suddenly, we had the cash and the message, but nowhere to broadcast it. Boston activists decided to fight back by hiring cyclists to take the ad to the streets.

To support the banned ad, Boston organizers took to the streets at rush hour. They monopolized roads with a 15 foot puppet of Scott Brown clutching bags of money and massive billboards calling out Senator Scott Brown's vote and the $1.9 million poured into his campaign by the fossil fuel industry and their front groups. Rally goers marched from T stop to T stop, finally ending in front of Sen. Brown's office chanting in support of the banned ad:

 

Meanwhile, in Cleveland organizers worked in lock step to bring their message to the streets, hiring cyclists to tow massive orange and black bike billboards calling out Sherrod Brown's vote and the more than $3.4 million poured into Ohio's 2010 elections

The billboards covered nearly every event in Cleveland for 4 days, and the campaign culminated in a student-led rally in front of Sherrod Brown's Cleveland office where they presented Sen. Brown's staff with a massive 3 foot inhaler. 

Holding politicians accountable isn't easy: many people our volunteers talked to in Ohio and Massachusetts had dozens of reasons why we should let this one slide. Especially in Ohio, some folks wondered why we would call out a Democrat.

The truth of the matter is that we have to work harder and smarter to make all of our elected leaders realize that we are a movement with teeth, that we are paying attention, and that we matter. That won't happen by letting votes like this slide: votes made in the face of corporate pressure, votes that are detrimental to our health and climate, votes that put the profits of corporations above those of families across the country.

Both Cleveland and Boston last week walked the walk and talked the talk, flexing their organizing muscles to show their Senators that the grassroots climate movement is a real and growing force: and that we are paying attention.

This September, all of us across the world will have the chance to do the same thing, join us.

Want to see more? Check out photos from Boston and Cleveland.

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