#ShutDownDC hit the streets again before dawn, this time dropping banners at strategic locations around the Washington, DC area to sound the alarm on the climate crisis and kick off a critical year of climate action. More than a dozen teams from the group that shut down Washington DC in September hung dozens of banners over the sides of overpasses on routes popular with rush hour commuters.
United Nations experts say we only have ten years left to prevent the climate crisis from causing irreversible damage to our society and its people. The United States and countries around the world are already suffering from climate breakdown as increasingly deadly superstorms, megafires, heat waves, and droughts devastate communities. Indigenous communities, communities of color, and low-income communities are the first and hardest hit.
And yet our so-called leaders refuse to act with the urgency the climate crisis demands.
For this reason, #ShutDownDC and our partners are united in nonviolent civil disobedience and took to the streets today to demand an end to the climate emergency. #ShutDownDC is planning the biggest act of climate civil disobedience in American history this spring and decision-makers, commuters, and the public can expect an escalation in the number of actions and the scale of disruptions that hit DC in 2020.
Alix Davidson, who participated in this morning’s action, said: “Unseasonable is now the new normal, whether it's flooding, fires, or constantly 'extreme' weather. I'm hanging a banner to remind people that the time for business as usual is over and the time to stop climate change is now.”
Nathan Moore, who also participated, added: “Two days ago the temperature hit 70 degrees in DC. 1.5 million acres are on fire in Australia. The climate crisis is here. We have 10 years left to prevent the worst, but our leaders have put their blinders on and choose to ignore the pleas to save our future. We need a mass movement for climate justice.”
Today’s banner drop marks the first demonstration of the year and kicks off a week of actions as climate organizers hit the ground running. Banner teams will head out again before dawn tomorrow deploying more signs across the area’s overpasses. On Thursday at 8:30 am, organizers will meet at McPherson Square and take the streets to protest Wells Fargo’s financing of deadly climate devastation. On Friday at 6 pm, Extinction Rebellion DC and other members of #ShutDownDC will rally, march and hold a vigil at the Australian Embassy with Fridays for Future to protest the climate-spurred brushfires engulfing the country.
The number of people demanding climate justice saw an incredible spike in 2019. In March, May, and again in September, millions of young people around the world took part in massive youth climate strikes -- and they invited the rest of us to join them.
In DC, #ShutDownDC first answered that call on September 23, when more than 2,000 people brought the city to a standstill by blockading roads and occupying intersections to demand an end to the climate emergency. We returned to the streets again on September 27, November 12, and December 6.
In 2020, a critical year for achieving climate justice, we intend to take our actions to the next level. We refuse to watch as do-nothing leaders in the pockets of corporate polluters destroy our future. Young people around the world are once again calling for global climate strikes from April 22 -- the 50th anniversary of Earth Day -- through April 24. Here in DC, #ShutDownDC plans on answering that call once again in collaboration with youth-led organizations like Fridays for Future, Sunrise Movement, Zero Hour, and many other partners. “September 23rd was a practice run for what we have planned this Spring,” said #ShutDownDC spokesperson Nick Brana.
Plans are just starting to come together but we know we need to organize action at a scale and scope that we haven’t seen in decades if we are going to shut down business as usual and disrupt the status quo enough to win the changes we need to save our collective future.
Want to get involved? Join us this on Thursday, January 23 at 7pm for the #ShutDownDC 2020 kickoff meeting! We’re meeting at 725 23rd St NW, Washington, DC 20052, Room 208!
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