'Climate Strike' Shuts Down DC

Demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Capitol as part of the Youth Climate Strike in Washington, U.S., September 20, 2019. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
September 23, 2019 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: Washington D.C.Climate ChangeClimate StrikeEnvironmentActivism

'Climate Strike' Shuts Down DC

Protesters blocked traffic around the city.

Climate change activists protested on the streets of Washington, D.C., Monday, aiming to shut down the city in an effort to push the government to take action on the climate crisis.

Activists blocked key intersections throughout the nation’s capital Monday morning, causing “gridlocked” traffic across D.C., Sam Sweeney, a reporter for WJLA, tweeted. Police began arresting protesters Monday morning, and the demonstrations are expected to continue throughout the day.

On Massachusetts Avenue, protestors shut down an intersection and a dumpster was seen overturned and on fire in the middle of a street.

UPDATE: Dumpster Fire on Mass Avehttps://t.co/BfUFeUy45s pic.twitter.com/EinI4B6cKr

— PoPville (@PoPville) September 23, 2019

Matt Whitlock, a senior adviser for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, noted that protesters were “littering” the street. He also tweeted wondering how “causing thousands of cars to idle” helps the environment.

Activism in 2019: singing about getting rid of fossil fuels while littering on the street. pic.twitter.com/r28ByOqq7R

— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) September 23, 2019

“Forcing buses to idle downtown to own the science deniers,” he wrote in another tweet. “Lots of large 18-wheel trucks forced to just sit there and idle while millennials (and middle-aged protestors in costumes) dance in the streets about the climate. Galaxy brain stuff,” Whitlock added.

Video footage from Twitter also showed protesters dancing to music in the middle of the streets near the U.S. Capitol. After multiple warnings, police began to arrest protesters at some locations, Sweeney wrote, tweeting out photos of people being handcuffed.

Climate Protestors blocking Mass Ave near Union station in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol. pic.twitter.com/tBlMiFEb8d

— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) September 23, 2019

DC police arresting student climate activists throughout DC who are blocking major intersections. pic.twitter.com/OA4kgu1fUU

— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) September 23, 2019

Other streets were locked down after a sail boat was placed in the middle of a road. Protesters bound themselves to the boat and police had to use saws to release them as they re-routed traffic. “Rebel for life” was written on the boat.

“Police are using a saw to separate the links protesters have attached themselves to the boat with. They’ve given those people flame-resistant blankets for the sparks. And ear protection,” Alejandro Alvarez, a reporter for WTOP, tweeted. He added that “over an hour later” police were still trying to free two of the protesters from the boat.

This intersection one block north of the White House is entirely frozen. I’m witnessing a climate-themed, impromptu block party with masked “polar bears.” A few dozen police gathering nearby. #ShutDownDC pic.twitter.com/rZNoWZ78Yp

— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) September 23, 2019

Health care workers and Black Lives Matter members set up a “free health screening and blood pressure clinic” on Independence and Washington, Adam Greenberg, a SustainUS employee, wrote. Protesters were also seen blocking streets with a sign that read “Capitalism Is Killing The Planet.”

“Allowing people to lay in the middle of the street during morning rush hour is not a compelling argument for statehood. #ShutDownDC #ClimateStrikedc #DCisatoilet,” Kevin McLaughlin, Executive Director at National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote Monday morning.

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Images: Reuters.