By Dikembe Wilkins, Howard University News Service
Washington– On Monday, Sept. 23, protesters blockaded main streets in Washington, DC during rush hour traffic in an effort to “Shut Down DC” and urge world leaders to take action to lower carbon emissions. The blockades of chanting protesters resulted in traffic jams the reportedly lasted for hours. At the end of the day 32 protesters were arrested.
Before the protests on Monday, millions of people around the world, flooded the streets of cities from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, USA on Friday, Sept. 20, to stage a worldwide walkout urging world leaders to take action against climate change. This mostly student-led demonstration took place just three days before the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City, where world leaders and some private citizens discussed how they would counteract climate change. Thousands of participants, calling themselves “climate rebels,” ranging from preschool to college and supporters of climate action met at John Marshall Memorial Park at 11a.m. and marched to Capitol Hill for a youth lead Climate Action Rally.
The protest in Berlin, Germany was the largest with an estimated 100,000 participants. Washington, DC was also one of the cities participating in the protest.
— Brian Kahn (@blkahn) September 20, 2019
The protest was inspired by 16-year-old, Swedish climate activist Great Thunberg. In 2018 she began her personal strike, refusing to go to school until the Swedish government agreed to reduce carbon emissions.
— Nate Tinbite (@NateTinbite) September 20, 2019
At the rally many student activists from the DMV and around the country took the stage to speak on climate action and perform songs drawing a large crowd of people constantly coming to and leaving from the rally.
Some politicians took part in and made appearances at the rally, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) who spoke at the rally,
“Time is not on our side. As time passes, this climate crisis becomes worse, and worse and worse.” Grijalva said.