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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 23
Washington, D.C., September 23 – Hundreds of people have shut down the center of decision-making in the U.S. to demand the government immediately ends fossil fuel production, and enforces a swift and just transition to renewable energy.
A broad coalition of climate and social justice organizations began to seize key intersections in the city at 7AM, disrupting the city’s morning rush hour traffic. Extinction Rebellion used a pink and yellow yacht as a barricade amidst a dance party. Activists seized intersections dressed as scuba divers and dinosaurs. Black Lives Matter and healthcare workers fighting for climate justice set up a mobile blood pressure clinic in the middle of the road. Some groups led dance parties through the streets. The group Rising Tide North America blocked roads by locking themselves to a car and an 80’s conversion van. Others participated in mass mobile blockades. A labor rights and Democratic Socialists of America group shut down the intersections around Amazon’s DC headquarters, and a Migrant Justice group did the same at the headquarters of ICE.
Much of the coalition met at four separate locations (Hancock Park/L’Enfant Metro Station, Folger Park, Columbus Circle, and Farragut Square) before fanning out in groups to seize their planned intersection. The blockades they have erected have gridlocked downtown D.C. during rush hour.
“I am a father, a Sunday School teacher, a youth baseball coach, and an Eagle Scout. And today I am peacefully breaking the law by blockading a downtown DC street in solidarity with students worldwide,” said Mike Tidwell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund’s Executive Director.
“In the United States, through the radically pro-pollution policies of the Trump Administration, we are pushing our planet Earth further and further outside of its comfort zone. Which means concerned Americans like me must push ourselves further and further outside our own comfort zones in an effort to pressure our leaders to finally solve this crisis.”
#ShutDownDC builds on the recent surge of climate strikes and mass protests that have rattled politicians around the world. The blockade of the U.S. capital is also timed to coincide with the start of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.
“The UN Secretary General called this summit today to strengthen the political will of the world’s leaders. But the only thing that’s stronger in the four years since the Paris Agreement was passed is the yearly rate of global carbon emissions and the volume of public outcry,” said Kaela Bamberger, organizer with Extinction Rebellion. “What will it take to reach the ears of those with our future in their hands?”
The coalition’s demands include a Green New Deal that brings about a swift and just transition to 100% renewable energy. It also wants governments to protect at least 50% of the world’s lands and oceans, and to halt deforestation by 2030. The coalition is also calling for climate justice for everyone. The transition to a clean future must boost rather than further harm communities hit by poverty and pollution.
Extinction Rebellion is using a yacht to blockade just above the White House, at 16th ST and K ST, NW, with several people locked to the boat and blockading the intersection around it. All the while, a dance party raged on.
350 DC, accompanied by Werk for Peace, a queer-activist group, and Code Pink and World Beyond War, peace groups, have set a blockade for Massachusetts and North Capital, NW.
A group of college students held the intersection of New York and I-395, as well as they hold the moral authority on climate change.
Black Lives Matter is teaming up with healthcare workers to connect health with the climate crisis; they are holding blood pressure and glucose screenings in the middle of Pennsylvania and Washington Ave, SE.
A combination of the labor rights activists and members of the Democratic Socialists of America are blockading the intersections providing entry into the Amazon’s DC headquarters at New Jersey and Massachusetts, NW.
Rising Tide North America (RTNA) have started a mass mobile blockade stepping off from Hancock Park. They locked down to a car and 80’s conversation van at the intersection of 14th ST and C ST, SW, and were promptly towed away with people locked to the top and inside the vehicles.
Employees of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund are block ing Independence and 12th, SW. At the headquarters of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), migrant justice activists are blockading the intersections of 12th and Maryland, SW.
198 Methods, 350 DC, Backbone Campaign, Beyond Extreme Energy, Black Lives Matter DMV, Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund, Code Pink, Extinction Rebellion DC, Friends of the Earth Action, Friends Meeting in Washington Social Concerns Committee, Labor Network for Sustainability, Metro DMV Democratic Socialists of America, Movement for a People’s Party, Rising Tide North America, Sunrise Movement DC, and Werk for Peace
Please direct any media enquiries to:
Kaela Bamberger, +1 (518) 847-5341 or, email@example.com
Miles Amoore, +1 (202) 867-6080, firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit https://www.strikedc.org/ for more information and for press updates and previous announcements see: https://www.strikedc.org/index.php/press/