The Irvine chapter of MoveOn, a grassroots political organization, held a demonstration protesting Senator McCain’s campaign promises for oil and gasoline at the Chevron station on the corner of Michelson and Culver on Wednesday, July 9.
MoveOn members and residents held signs and passed out fliers with information regarding John McCain’s campaign plans and potential conflict between his goals and the desire to decrease gas prices.
About 60 people gathered for the rally and encouraged drivers to honk to show their support as they drove by.
Although most people were supportive of lowering gas prices, a select few disagreed.
Two 14-year-old males set up their own protest across the street from MoveOn’s event, complete with a campaign sign that consisted of a printer box drawn on with marker.
“They just need to stop complaining about gas prices … and stop driving,” said Irvine resident Michael Basky in an interview with the OC Register. “We also want Marilyn Manson for vice president and Jodie Foster for third president.” Although the demonstration was held at a gas station, MoveOn members made clear that they were protesting neither Chevron nor gas stations in general. Instead, they focused their attention on calling for an “oil-free presidency” in the next election.
The rally’s proximity to the Fourth of July holiday weekend was no accident. The Fourth of July holiday weekend is traditionally one of high levels of travel and subsequent gasoline consumption, and the Wall Street Journal reported that this week the national price average for gasoline reached a record high of $4.11 a gallon.
Bill Wood, a MoveOn member who took part in the rally addressed his confidence in McCain’s inability to reduce gas prices should he be elected.
“It’s a good time to raise public awareness. If you don’t like gas prices right now, John McCain isn’t going to change it; we don’t see why he would even want to bring oil prices down,” Wood said.
Kate Nikolenko, the Irvine council lead for MoveOn agreed with Wood’s sentiment.
“Most Americans are struggling to make ends meet, but oil companies are making record profits. We need a president who will stand up to Big Oil, not protect their profits,” Nikolenko said.
In the past, McCain has received over one million dollars in campaign contributions from oil and gas industry companies.
According to MoveOn, McCain also has over 20 oil company lobbyists running his campaign and he has made plans to cut oil company taxes by nearly $4 billion dollars.