‘Young Turks’ defend Capitol ‘gyro copter’ protester: ‘I think it’s badass’
The hosts of The Young Turks and guest host Abby Martin offered kudos on Thursday to the 61-year-old Florida man who was arrested for flying his “gyro copter” onto the grounds of the Capitol to call for campaign finance reform.
“This is a huge problem and we need to start risking safety and things like this to really make a strong point,” Martin said. “That’s exactly what he did, and I think it’s badass.”
As CNN reported, Doug Hughes was arrested without incident after landing his small helicopter Wednesday afternoon. At the time, Hughes was carrying letters addressed to each member of Congress explaining his concerns. Hughes had reportedly been planning to carry out his one-man protest for the past two-and-a-half years.
“I’m demanding reform and declaring a voter’s rebellion in a manner consistent with Jefferson’s description of rights in the Declaration of Independence,” the letters stated. “As a member of Congress, you have three options. 1. You may pretend corruption does not exist. 2. You may pretend to oppose corruption while you sabotage reform. 3. You may actively participate in real reform.”
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Hughes was spurred into action by the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which paved the way for corporations to spend as much as they wanted to influence elections.
Host Ana Kasparian said Hughes’ demonstration was a “clear case” of civil disobedience, pointing out that Hughes alerted authorities to his actions, as a video posted online showed him saying he broadcast his flight path and invited the Secret Service to escort him off the ground.
She also chided MSNBC host Joe Scarborough for comparing Hughes to White House intruders and suggesting that Hughes should have been shot down.
“He didn’t put anyone in danger,” Kasparian said of Hughes. “I think that Joe Scarborough’s response to this is indicative of how the US thinks about everything — shoot first, ask questions later. If it’s even a small perceived threat, go after it, shoot it, kill it, get rid of it. And then maybe we’ll investigate a little bit.”
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Thursday, below.