Activists say 655 arrested during week of DC climate protests

Activists say 655 arrested during week of DC climate protests
© Greg Nash

A total of 655 people were arrested during a week of climate protests in Washington, D.C., activists said Friday. 

According to those behind this week’s “People vs. Fossil Fuels Mobilization,” the final event on Friday at the Capitol spurred 90 arrests, rounding out the 655 total for the week. 

For several days this week, they demonstrated outside the White House, and on Friday they went to the Capitol building. 

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The protesters are seeking to push President BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE to stop approving new fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency. They also want Congress to support a fossil fuel phase out. 

Activists said in a statement that on Thursday more than 50 Indigenous advocates “launched an occupation” of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) — an agency within the Interior Department. 

The activists have also said that there were dozens of arrests at this event, and alleged that police used stun guns on at least two people. 

Meanwhile, Interior Department spokesperson Melissa Schwartz said in a statement that  “multiple injuries were sustained by security personnel, and one officer has been transported to a nearby hospital.”

The demonstrations come as Democrats in Congress struggle to get a spending package with major climate provisions across the finish line amid objections from more conservative members of their caucus. 

They also come in the weeks leading up to global climate negotiations at the COP26 conference.