Climate activists in Washington DC clashed with law enforcement during unruly protests last week at Interior Department headquarters, demanding to speak with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who was traveling and wasn’t even in DC at the time.
Security personnel sustained “multiple injuries” and at least one officer was transported to the hospital. According to video footage from The Washington Post’s Ellie Silverman, activists could be seen climbing up doors and pushing officers back as they tried to force their way into the Interior Department. According to People vs. Fossil Fuels, who organized the event, at least 55 people were arrested at Interior.
Fox News reported that Andy Ngô, a conservative journalist who often covers events related to Antifa, shared one of Silverman’s videos. He described the scene at the federal building as “reminiscent of Jan. 6,” noting that officers were forced to draw their stun guns as “extreme environmentalist protesters” attempted to make their way inside.
The protests were part of a week-long demonstration calling on President Biden to declare climate change an emergency and eliminate the use of fossil fuels. However, violent and unlawful protests of any kind are not an acceptable form of dissent.
The GAIN Coalition condemns all forms of illegal, violent protests that puts the safety and wellbeing of first responders, bystanders, and protesters themselves at risk. There is an appropriate time and place to express concerns regarding our nation’s energy future – and storming federal buildings, fighting law enforcement, and getting arrested isn’t it.