WASHINGTON -- Friday's protest by indigenous groups and other environmental activists continued for a week, demanding Congress and the Biden Administration stop funding new fossil fuel projects. They must also act more urgently on climate change.
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 over 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.
"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.