Black Lives Matter DC joined other groups to halt traffic throughout the Washington DC area. The protest comes alongside the start of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.
— BlackLivesMatter DC (@DMVBlackLives) September 23, 2019
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, 26 people were arrested at multiple intersections where actions took place.
"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," said Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund, in a statement on the coalition of groups website. "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.”
The coalition of groups have come together to call for the passage of the Green New Deal, increased respect for Indigenous land and sovereignty, as well as a new attitude toward communities displaced by the cumulative effects of the climate crisis.
“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, an organizer with Extinction Rebellion, in a statement. “What will it take to reach the ears of those with our future in their hands?
The groups drew inspiration from worldwide action that took place Friday, where protestors — some of whom were students skipping classes — marched for awareness and change in the climate crisis. The 16-year-old environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, who made the journey from Sweden to New York, protested alongside the students.
“Basically our Earth is dying and if we don’t do something about it, we die,” said A.J. Conermann, a 15-year-old sophomore, to USA Today. “I want to grow up. I want to have a future.”