Climate activists glue themselves to U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON – Sixteen protesters from the climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion glued themselves to underground shuttle entrances in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, resulting in the arrests of at least three.
Using Gorilla Glue, the protesters affixed themselves to doorways in front of the subway entrances leading from the Cannon and Rayburn House office buildings to the Capitol, hoping to address congresspeople on their way to a House vote at 6:30 p.m. The protesters managed to remain until around 8 p.m. when U.S. Capitol Police began to remove and arrest them.
Earlier this month, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduced a resolution declaring a “climate emergency” and demanding a broad mobilization of resources to prepare for the impact of climate change.
Extinction Rebellion protesters want to make sure that resolution passes.
“Part of the protest is to force the U.S. to consider following in the U.K.’s footsteps of declaring a climate emergency,” said Kaela Bamberger, a media representative for Extinction Rebellion. “Part of the point in using civil disobedience is creating this situation where we disrupt business as usual for congresspeople and put pressure on Congress to demand a climate emergency and to see that resolution through the legislature.”
That resolution is latest measure to be introduced by Ocasio-Cortez. Earlier this year the New York Democrat unveiled the Green New Deal, which a number of high-profile Democrats — many of whom are running for president — have endorsed.
In April, members of Extinction Rebellion’s U.K. division blocked the Waterloo Bridge for more than a week, also gluing themselves to buildings and climbing on top of trains.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, met with the protesters and promised to consider a citizens’ assembly on climate change. Additionally, on May 1, in accordance with one of their demands, U.K. Parliament members declared a climate and environment emergency, becoming the first national legislature to do so.
Heather Berube, age 34, who is a member of the Toxics Action Center in Maine, was one of the protesters who got arrested after gluing themselves to the Rayburn entrance. She took a bus to D.C. specifically to put pressure on lawmakers.
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“I just dedicate my life to making a better world for my kids,” she said. “As climate change gets worse, it’s going to become more pressing for everyone.”
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., encouraged the Rayburn protesters after encountering them by the entrance.
“What’s the word?” she asked them, to which they shouted “climate change” in unison. “Say it louder,” she said — which they did — then offered them a shout of encouragement before walking off.
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