WASHINGTON (AP) — Indigenous groups and other environmental activists marched to the Capitol Friday as they continued a weeklong protest demanding that Congress and the Biden administration stop new fossil fuel projects and act with greater urgency on climate change.
Nearly 80 people were arrested on the fifth day of the “People vs. Fossil Fuels” protest. That brings the total arrested during the week to more than 600, organizers said.
Under a banner declaring “We did not vote for fossil fuels,” activists pressed President Joe Biden to stop approving new pipelines and other fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency. Demonstrators urged members of Congress to “listen to the people" who sent them to Washington and take urgent action to phase out fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.
Capitol Police said 78 people were arrested on obstruction or crowding charges. Three of those arrested also were charged with assault on a police officer.
Speakers said Biden was not following through on his promises to act on climate change.
“It’s ridiculous. He promised, just like they’ve done in the past, ‘We’ll talk about it, we’ll bring it to the table.’ Where’s our seat?'' asked Isabelle Knife, 22, a member of the Yankton Sioux tribe of South Dakota.
“We haven’t had a seat. We haven’t been heard,'' Knife said. “It takes youth to be on the frontlines. It takes us to put our bodies on the line.”