Morning commutes around Washington, D.C., were disrupted Monday by activists calling for action on climate change.
Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/REX via Shutterstock
Young people participate in the DC Climate Strike March in Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2019.
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The protest comes after activists gathered at the Capitol on Friday for the Global Climate Strike and coincided with the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, where world leaders were meeting to “discuss a leap in collective national ambition” for climate change.
The protesters in the nation’s capital, calling themselves Shut Down D.C., blocked major intersections around the city, including K and 16th Streets NW not far from the White House and near where many lobbying and law firms are located, and New York Avenue at Florida Ave NE, saying that “shutting down the nation’s capital could be our best shot at starting this justice-based transition” for climate change.
The demonstrators tweeted as they blocked streets, some of them getting arrested.
“We know that this shutdown will cause massive disruption to people who bear little responsibility for the climate catastrophe we are facing,” the group said on its website. “But we will also cause massive disruption for politicians, huge corporations and the lobbyists who control our government. We need to fundamentally change the power structure of the United States if we want to stop the climate crisis, and shutting down DC is a big step in the right direction.”
Police could be seen at K and 16th Streets NW where a few dozen protesters had placed a pink sailboat in the middle of the intersection, christening it the “Extinction Rebellion.”
Shut Down D.C. was live streaming the protest on YouTube showing demonstrators waving flags and holding banners saying “ROAD CLOSED CLIMATE EMERGENCY.”
(MORE: Thousands of young activists challenging lawmakers to act in Global Climate Strike)
The group is demanding immediate action on climate change including transitioning to 100% renewable energy production by 2030, protecting and restoring of 50% of the world’s land and oceans and honoring the rights of indigenous people’s lands.
It was unclear how much disruption the protests are causing. Public transit agencies advised riders to be aware for their morning commutes.
“Amtrak customers using Washington, D.C. (WAS) Union Station tomorrow (9/23) should allow extra time because of planned protests and expected traffic issues,” Amtrak tweeted.
The Maryland Department of Transportation also warned of “possible delays” due to the protests.