Climate activists gathered outside the annual charity baseball game between Democrats and Republicans, having previously threatened to “stop” the game to raise awareness of the climate crisis.
Protesters with Now or Never initially planned to disrupt Thursday’s game, which ended a little after 8 p.m. due to a sudden summer storm in Washington DC that began raining on the crowd as the sun set. But a massive Capitol Police and MPDC presence, coupled with Democrats’ announcement of a deal between Senate Joe Manchin and Senate Leader Chuck Schumer to invest in climate action and other key priorities, seemed to have dampened those plans somewhat. Still, about 100 people gathered outside Nationals Park.
There were no real disruptions to the game itself, although activists chanted “seal the deal” a block away, encouraging Democrats to go ahead and see the framework announced by their leaders the day before become law. A handful of activists who sat in the stands instead of the main group also had their banners confiscated by Capitol Police.
Four people were arrested during Thursday’s protest, a spokesperson for the group said, which promised further direct action in the coming days to pressure Democrats in Washington.
Some of that action would take place later this week, the group said TBEN.
“Indigenous communities and tribal lands have long been sacrificial zones for the fossil fuel industry. This deal links renewable energy to fossil fuels, and we know that our communities have historically pushed pipelines like DAPL, Line 3 and KXL across our country despite our resistance. Pipeline camps are increasing human trafficking in our community and fueling our epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous peoples,” said Jennifer Falcon of the Ikiya Collective, a group of climate and indigenous people’s rights activists from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. TBEN about the group’s action with Now or Never on Thursday.
“We talk about climate change like it’s coming, but our communities are already without clean water. For us, the climate chaos has been there for a long time. Our people are dying, we need Democrats too much. We need legislation and we need a climate emergency now. Our youth, your culture, our languages and the country depend on it,” added Ms Falcon.
The protests came after senators announced a surprise deal the day before to revive Build Back Better, the signature piece of Joe Biden’s first-term legislative agenda, which includes billions of dollars to boost e-vehicle purchases and contains other provisions to both decarbonise the US. energy industry and the daily lives of Americans.
The deal, while a shock to many who thought the legislation was dead and buried, is nonetheless far from being enacted and could still be crippled by democratic resistance in the House or Senate in the form of Kyrsten Sinema, the moderate co-author. -moderate Mr Manchin.
In a short statement to TBEN Earlier on Thursday, Now or Never indicated they also wanted more action from the White House, most notably in the form of Joe Biden declaring a national emergency to fight climate change. The White House was hammered by reporters this week for allegedly considering that option but somehow failing to make a decision.
“We are in a climate emergency. Democrats must sign the climate deal and get this package approved, and the president must declare a climate emergency,” said Vincent Vertuccio, a representative for the group. “This news is good news, but it is not yet a victory.”
“We intend to keep up the pressure until it becomes one,” he added.