Protesters shut down DC intersections to demand shift to renewable energy

Climate change protesters took to the streets of Washington, D.C., on Monday, temporarily shutting down several key intersections during rush hour to demand an immediate halt to fossil fuel production and a swift transition to renewable energy.

The demonstrations, organized by a coalition called Shut Down DC, coincided with the opening of the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.

Giovanni Tamacas, spokesperson for protesters who blocked traffic just three blocks from the White House by placing a sailboat in an intersection, said demonstrators turned to civil disobedience because other forms of protest like permitted rallies and petitions weren’t having the desired impact.

“You don’t get mad at the fire alarm for waking you in the middle of the night when there is a fire in your home. You don’t get mad at the fire alarm. You act,” Tamacas told The Hill. “That’s what we are. We are the voice. We are the fire alarm for our burning planet.”

Shut Down D.C. is calling for the adoption of the Green New Deal and a global halt to deforestation by 2030. 

Kristen Metzger, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department, said police arrested 26 people at a separate intersection on Monday morning. She said she expected that number to rise as the day goes on.

Many of the intersections were blocked by debris as well as protesters.

{mosads}The intersection of 16th and K Street NW, just north of the White House, was blocked by a pink and yellow sailboat with the words “Rebel for Life” and “Tell the Truth” emblazoned on the side.

The sailboat, brought by activist group Extinction Rebellion, acted as a barricade as protesters held a dance party. 

The protesters left the boat in the intersection attached to a trailer with deflated tires. Police hauled the boat out of the intersection using a tow truck around 10 a.m.

Monday’s protests in the nation’s capital came on the heels of Friday’s global climate strike, where more than 1 million were estimated to have protested in cities around the world to demand government action on climate change.

Last week’s protest was a part of the Fridays for Future movement, inspired by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg started the movement in 2018 by protesting in front of the Swedish Parliament every school day for three weeks and later began protesting every Friday.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Climate change climate strike D.C. Extinction Rebellion Protests Washington

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