Climate activists continue to protest for a week at Capitol

As part of a week-long protest, Indigenous groups and environmental activists marched to Washington on Friday. They demanded that Congress and the Biden Administration stop funding new fossil fuel projects and take action urgently to address climate change.

Climate activists continue to protest for a week at Capitol

On the fifth day, nearly 80 people were detained by police. Organizers said that this brings the total number of people arrested over the course of the week to more 600.

A banner that read "We didn't vote for fossil fuels" was used by activists to press President Joe Biden not to approve new pipelines or other fossil fuel projects. They also asked him to declare a climate emergency. Demonstrators asked members of Congress to listen to their constituents and to take immediate action to eliminate fossil fuels that cause global warming.

According to Capitol Police, 78 people were detained on charges of obstruction or crowding. Three people were also charged with assaulting a police officer.

Biden did not keep his promise to address climate change, according to speakers.

It's absurd. "It's ridiculous." He said, as they have done in the past: "We'll talk, we'll bring the topic to the table," Isabelle Knife (22), a member the Yankton Sioux tribe, South Dakota.

"We haven’t had a place. Knife stated that we have not been heard. It takes youth to stand on the frontlines. It takes us to risk our lives for others.

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stated that the administration is "listening" to climate advocates and those who have raised the issue for decades.

Psaki stated Thursday that environmental activists "have important voices and they've put the climate on the forefront of the agenda when the topic wasn't 10 or 20 years ago,"

She encouraged activists to consider Biden's plans in a bipartisan bill for infrastructure and a larger Democratic plan to address environmental and social issues.

Psaki stated that he was trying to push the finish line with an immense investment and commitment to the climate crisis. "This is in his legislative agenda, which's currently moving through Congress. This doesn't mean that his climate commitment will end once he signs it into law. It just means that we are focusing on this issue now and it will have an important, dramatic impact.

Following a sit-in at the Interior Department in Washington, Thursday's Capitol protest was held. As they protested pipelines and other fossil fuel projects, demonstrators clashed with police and demanded that a climate emergency be declared. More than 50 people were taken into police custody.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Department stated that protesters invaded the lobby and injured at least one security guard. She was then taken to a local hospital. A spokeswoman for the protest group stated that officers used Tasers to disarm several unarmed protesters outside the building.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was on a trip Thursday, and was not present at the protest.

Jennifer Falcon spokeswoman for Indigenous Environmental Network, which organized the protest. She said that it was part of a "historic surge of Indigenous resistance" that began on Monday, Indigenous Peoples Day. Protesters gathered at the White House fence to demand that climate change be addressed faster than usual. More than 100 people were taken into custody.

The White House is across Lafayette Park from the Andrew Jackson statue. It was defaced by the words "Expect Us", part of an Indigenous rallying cry against fossil fuel pipelines.

Protesters also took to the flagpole in front of the Army Corps of Engineers office demanding an end to Line 3, a recent oil pipeline upgrade in Minnesota. The pipeline will transport tar sands crude oil from Canada to Wisconsin.

"In November, we made the choice to vote for a President who claimed he would be the climate leader, who also said he would shut down pipelines. And right now, we are witnessing a betrayal by the White House, Congress," said Zanagee artis, coexecutive director at Zero Hour, a youth-led climate justice organisation.

"We need climate action immediately. Artis stated that there is not enough time to address the issue. He also said that he campaigned on behalf of Biden and called voters in his name.

Artis stated that "Black and brown people voted heavily" for Biden and that young people voted record numbers for a president who promised to address climate change. Biden now has the power to revoke Line 3 permits and other pipeline permits, but he hasn't. He can revoke fossil fuel leases, but he doesn't.

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