Hundreds of climate change activists jammed traffic in downtown Washington, D.C. during morning rush hour on Friday, as they had previously announced. The group first marched to The World Bank, then joined Hollywood star Jane Fonda and others for a weekly rally.
Organized upon a call from a coalition of environmentalist organizations, Shut Down D.C., protesters aimed at causing a traffic gridlock early morning hours of December 6, like they did multiple times in recent months.
The activists visited the World Bank and other financial institutions they accuse of “profiting off of the climate crisis” in order to pressure them to divest from fossil fuel products.
In addition to Fonda, actresses Kyra Sedgwick, Maura Tierney and Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling took part in the march that kicked off at Franklin Square.
“Around the world, climate change is driving mass migration as water dries up, farmland turns to desert, shorelines erode, coastal areas flood, permafrost melts and ecosystems can no longer support the communities they once could. And it is going to get much much worse,” Shut Down D.C. said in its statement.
“As far back as 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted that the greatest single impact of climate change could be on human migration – and we’re seeing this projection come true. The latest estimates predict as many as 200 million climate refugees by 2050.”
The protest was part of a global movement led by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has been organizing school strikes every Friday for over a year to raise awareness of the climate crisis.
Inspired by Thunberg, Fonda announced in October that she decided to temporarily move to D.C. to participate in weekly climate protests outside the U.S. Capitol and “get arrested.” The 81-year-old actress kept her promise, including about getting arrested.
“I’ve decided to upend my life, leave my comfort zone and move to D.C. for four months to focus on climate change. As Greta said: ‘This is a crisis. We have to act like our house is on fire, because it is’,” Fonda had said in a video.
As @GretaThunberg said, “We have to act like our house is on fire, because it is.” @JaneFonda, activists, Indigenous leaders, experts, & community members are answering the alarm sounded by youth to demand action on the climate emergency.
— Fire Drill Fridays (@FireDrillFriday) October 11, 2019
D.C.-based climate protesters have been staging similar “shut-downs” since September, blocking the city’s key intersections.