Environment

Activism, Uncensored: Climate Protesters Block Traffic in the Capital

They may not be soup-and-Van Gogh level PR juggernauts, but highway-jamming actions arouse strong feelings. Do they work?

In a follow-up to work from earlier this year by Ford Fischer’s News2Share crew, a week of travails of the climate-change group Declare Emergency in Washington, DC were documented.

In the interest of not stepping on the editorial toes of Ford and his crew it’s probably best to refrain from commenting too much, except to say the Declare Emergency footage is very interesting as a window on the internal thinking of an earnest protest organization. Declare Emergency had some bad luck and ambiguous results blocking traffic last April — a scene in which a man shouted “I’ve got to get to my wife. She’s pregnant! What the fuck!” stood out — and in some ways, this tape shows more of the same, with frustration on all sides.

These activists seem sincere, and clearly they feel like less intrusive tactics aren’t getting the job done, but the strategy of blocking highways once again brings angry dudes out of cars looking like they want to corkscrew heads off. “What you’re doing is not right! People are going to hate you guys!” shouts a man in a pink shirt and a hurry in this footage.

“Normal channels are not working,” says one activist.

“Like I said, I don’t think you understand the seriousness of the situation,” says another, in response to an officer asking him to get up voluntarily. “I don’t think I can move at this point.” At which point he’s handcuffed and moved.

Is this effective? The camera doesn’t judge, and leaves consideration of the question to you. As always, great job by Ford, News2Share, and contributor TJ Jones showing the lengthy narrative context around these scenes.

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Categories: Environment

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