Climate protestors shut down traffic on DC area highway

Climate protestors shut down part of I-495 in Maryland on Monday (WUSA9)
Climate protestors shut down part of I-495 in Maryland on Monday (WUSA9)

A group of climate protestors shut down part of a highway outside Washington, DC on Monday, July 4.

The inner loop of I-495 in Montgomery County, Maryland — commonly known as the beltway — was shut down for about an hour and a half midday, reports WUSA.

Maryland State Police had reported 14 arrests, reports FOX5, including 13 protestors and one additional person.

The group claiming responsibility is known as Declare Emergency. According to their website, they are encouraging President Biden to declare an emergency regarding the climate crisis.

A spokesperson for Declare Emergency, in a phone call with The Independent, also stressed the idea of a “just transition”, or accomodations that support communities through the changes in the economy used to deal with the climate crisis.

“A group of ordinary concerned citizens has blocked the inner loop of the Capital Beltway in an act of civil resistance. Their demand is for President Biden to immediately declare a national state of climate emergency,” the group said in a statement, as reported by FOX5.

“Today there were almost two dozen Declare Emergency campaign supporters on the road, coming from as far away as Oregon, Washington and Florida to make their voices heard here in DC/MD/VA area. A total of thirteen ordinary citizens have been arrested today while acting in nonviolent civil resistance, raising the alarm on the climate crisis.”

The Declare Emergency spokesperson also told The Independent that the beltway can symbolize power in the DC area.

The phrase “inside the beltway” can refer to the people and groups with heavy influence in the federal government, as the highway circles around the District of Columbia and its nearby suburbs.