Activists for climate change gathered in Washington on Monday morning, Sept. 22, to protest in the name of Shut Down D.C., blocking key intersections across the city to disrupt traffic. The protesters are rallying to pressure U.S. lawmakers and other world leaders to establish legislation related to climate change.
Shut Down D.C.’s aim is to obstruct “key infrastructure to stop business-as-usual, bringing the whole city to a gridlocked standstill,” organizers said on the StrikeDC website.
According to WTOP-FM, D.C. police arrested at least 26 climate protesters who used a sailboat, vans, cars, ladders and sit-ins Monday to block key intersections around the District. Drivers en route to D.C. from Virginia was reported to have been impacted the most.
“If you’re coming in anywhere near the National Mall, you’re going to be impacted by this,” Adam Tuss of NBC4 told WTOP.
Protesters were reported by WTOP to be blocking or impeding traffic at 14th and C streets SW, 16th and I streets, 18th and Massachusetts Avenue and the 700 Block of New Jersey Avenue. New York Avenue remains blocked at North Capitol Street, Florida Avenue and 4th Street, according to the report.
A news release from the Coalition to Shut Down D.C. and its different groups organizing the protests will be meeting in all four quadrants of D.C, where protesters started gathering at just before 7a.m. on Monday at Farragut Square, Columbus Circle, Folger Park, and Hancock Park.
Jane Recker of the Washingtonian sees the protesters’ attempt to take control of D.C. as a “romantic idea,” while citing that “many have tried, and failed, to shut down the nation’s capital.” Recker also noted that similar actions to take control of the District have led to the largest mass arrest in U.S. history after authorities were able to obtain the group’s detailed tactical manual and deployed police forces to key sites in advance.
The demand for urgent action on climate change swung into action last week, where protesters scheduled global climate strikes that are due to take place in more than 150 countries, and set to occur ahead of the opening of the United Nations General Assembly and the Climate Action Summit this week.
President Donald Trump spoke in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday, noting that the United States would “begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or really an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States.”
The president withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, the 2015 landmark international accord aimed at combating climate change, as the agreement hurts U.S. businesses and workers “to the exclusive benefit of other countries.”