Climate protesters blocked the DC beltway yesterday and commuters were not happy about it

1 month ago 4
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Yesterday a group of about a dozen protesters blocked traffic on the inner loop of the Washington, DC beltway aka the 495. Traffic was stopped for more than an hour as police very slowly tried to convince the protesters to get off the road. But as you’ll see in the video of this incident, motorists who were stuck in the traffic were not as patient. One man, who later explained he was on probation and trying to get to his job, pulled away the group’s signs.

VIDEO THREAD: Yesterday, July 4, activists demanding Joe Biden declare a "Climate Emergency" blocked traffic on he beltway in Maryland, just outside DC.

One agitated driver got physical with them while saying that he's on parole and could return to prison if late for his job. pic.twitter.com/iWSqTlnlSW

— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) July 5, 2022

That guy was threatening people and was eventually arrested. Police then started threatening everyone but the protesters with arrest if they didn’t get back in their cars.

Police took their time preparing to arrest the activists blocking the highway, but had warned drivers not to assault the protesters.

As the shirtless parolee who claimed he could go back to jail for being late continued confronting them, police arrested and carried him away. pic.twitter.com/95u5A5zf9U

— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) July 5, 2022

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg. The full video, which is below, shows a lot more detail. For instance, the man who was arrested not only took signs but dragged some of the protesters out of the street.

Instead of just arresting the protesters and removing them from the road, the police tried to negotiate with them. They asked this man to ask his fellow protesters if they would be willing to walk off the road after maybe 15 minutes. The police agreed to sit back and wait until they heard back from the protesters.

He did ask and the protesters immediately said no, they wanted to be arrested. Later, a man tried to drive up the shoulder of the road to get around the protesters and two of them ran up and got in front of his car. One of them put his foot under the tire so his car couldn’t move. This is a very old tactics the left has been using for years. Swarm onto a car and then claim to be run over if the car moves at all.

More minutes passed and the negotiations continued. It’s pretty clear they protesters aren’t interested in alternatives so what are the police waiting for? Are they hoping to avoid a bunch of paperwork? Why else are they allowing a dozen people to shut down a major roadway for this long?

Finally, everyone gets what they want.

At last they remove them.

We’ve seen this sort of protest action happen in the UK where Extinction Rebellion made a point of blocking roadways. But the same group has done this is the US. They blocked traffic in New York City last October.

Dear commuters: we are interrupting traffic this morning not to annoy you, but to force the public to confront the true dangers of unchecked climate change. If we do not act today, if @potus does not act today, NYC will be underwater by 2100. It's a matter of life and death. pic.twitter.com/2gTTal0zgA

— Extinction Rebellion NYC 🌎 (@XR_NYC) October 25, 2021

So this does seem to be spreading in the US but so far it’s still happening pretty infrequently. To the degree there are no consequences for this action (arrests but no charges or charges being dropped later) that will make this behavior more appealing to protesters. What might make it less appealing is if police could move a little more quickly and decisively and simply arrest and remove the protesters in 10 minutes rather than 30+ minutes of failed negotiations. They have no right to protest on the highway. Get them off. Here’s the full video (which appears to have been edited for time).

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