Image by the author.

As the shutdown of the federal government looms, DC residents prepare to lose basic services, trash collection, libraries and anything beyond emergency repair.

It’s a perfect example of why DC needs more autonomy. And it calls for a little civil disobedience. If Congress is going to force DC to stop picking up the trash, maybe residents should take the trash to Congress or House Speaker John Boehner himself.

Some are suggesting DC just stay open anyway. DC does have the money, it’s just that its budget is technically part of the federal one. It might violate the Anti-Deficiency Act, but will anyone do anything about it?

At-large Councilmember Michael Brown last night called on Mayor Gray to declare all DC government workers essential, “regardless of Federal prohibitions or repercussions.” Alan Suderman noted that this might make it tough to then declare them nonessential for a furlough, though depending on your view of the furloughs as a budget-cutting measure, perhaps that’s just as well.

Others have suggested ways for residents to get in on the act, like dropping their trash on the steps of the US Capitol. A friend and I proposed another option on a whim last night that has really taken off: Take your trash to John Boehner’s house. Our Facebook group on the idea has picked up 620 supporters so far.

The logic is simple. If John Boehner is going to take away our trash collection, it seems only fair to show him the consequences. If we do go through with it, it will be organized in such a way that we don’t actually litter or disrespect our fine city.

What ideas do you have for light civil disobedience? A good action would call attention to the way DC ends up holding the bag for a mess not of it’s own making. How can we drive home to the rest of America that the federal colony of DC shouldn’t be Boehner’s playground?