Many climate activists were arrested on Thursday, following their attempt to enter the building of the federal Interior Department in Washington, D.C.
Their capture came after demonstrations led to several injuries and hospital admission of one police officer.
A radical climate justice group, People vs. Fossil Fuels, was behind the protests.
The members of this group raised their voices against President Biden’s approval of several projects that involve the use of fossil fuels.
Protesters, dissatisfied with Biden’s negligence toward climate issues, invited the U.S. government to declare climate change an emergency and take much more decisive action against what they perceived as the biggest threat faced by humanity.
The series of protests took almost a week until they escalated on Thursday.
The footage shared by The Washington Post’s reporter Ellie Silverman showed how rioters entered the federal building by climbing in through the doors, yelling, and shoving officers who protected the Interior Department premises.
The scenes, widely shared on social media, reminded some commentators, such as conservative journalist Andy Ngô, of the events that took place at Capitol on January 6th this year.
Reactions to the protests
Officials from the Interior Department unanimously condemned the violence present during the protests.
Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman of the Interior Department, wrote that Federal Protective Service (FPS) managed to calm down the situation and reported about the injuries incurred by the officers.
She added that the highest officials in the Interior Department believe in everyone’s right to exercise their freedom of speech and peacefully protest, also noting that the U.S. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland was absent from Washington at the time of the protests.
Protest organizers, on the other hand, emphasized that 55 people were arrested as a result of the protest.
They also alleged that the police officers beat protesters, used water protectors, and fired tasers to weaken the rioters.
The organizers added that one worker for an indigenous media outlet was attacked by the officers, which resulted in the destruction of his working equipment.
Given the increasing tensions and mobilization of climate change and other left-wing activists, it could hardly be expected that protests like this latest one would not continue.
It is only a matter of luck whether there will be any casualties of such protests in the future.