Reporting Mike Schuh
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Early on, a law to enable large windmills off the coast of Maryland looked like it would be enacted in the General Assembly. But as the session ended, so too did its chances for passage, but not before protest efforts by a group of students got them thrown in jail.
Mike Schuh has more.
For the second year, a requirement for Maryland utilities to buy more wind power died. The House passed it but a Senate committee wouldn’t let the bill go up for a vote.
Early on, St. Mary’s College students Ashock Lalchand and Johanna Galat lined up to support the legislators wanting to change the law.
“We could say, ‘Yes, please, keep doing what you’re doing. Put it through,’” Lalchand said.
Unlike many students their age who may look to pad their resumes with impressive but safe extracurricular activities, these students care more about the environmental cause.
“I really want any organizing I’m doing to be about other people and relating to other people rather than how I’m going to look later,” Galat said.
“We were on the steps of the Maryland State House,” Lalchand said.
They walked up, sat down and chanted.
“We were very frustrated at seeing the legislative process not work. It just didn’t happen,” said Lalchand.
Capital Police warned the protesters.
“He gave us our first, second and third warning, stood us up, cuffed us and took us to the holding station in Annapolis,” Galat said.
Three protesters were arrested. The third was from the University of Maryland.
They say the four misdemeanor charges were worth it, even though wind failed.
“Our ultimate dream goal is that as we’re arrested and dragged off that the Senate Finance Committee reconsidered the vote and it passed but that didn’t happen,” Lalchand said.
The three students were released on their own recognizance and say they will get notification of their next court date by mail.
As they were being arrested, the students say one legislator asked them if they would testify in Annapolis next year when the windmill bill is re-introduced.