Climate activists battled police while allegedly attempting to break-in to a major government department building in Washington on Thursday, according to multiple sources.
Dozens of demonstrators staged a sit-in inside the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), while protestors that were left outside grappled with police as they allegedly attempted to force entry, resulting in multiple injuries, according to multiple sources.
“Go inside! Go inside!,” protestors shouted as they reportedly attempted to push into the building, video shows.
“Multiple injuries were sustained by security personnel, and one officer has been transported to a nearby hospital. Medics representing both the Department and the protesters were present,” Interior Department spokesperson Melissa Schwartz said in a statement. “It is also our obligation to keep everyone safe. We will continue to do everything we can to de-escalate the situation while honoring first amendment rights,” Schwartz added.
Indigenous Environmental Network Spokesperson Jennifer Falcon tweeted that the police had arrested protestors inside the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The climate organization, People vs Fossil Fuels has led demonstrations in Washington since Monday, the Post reported. It created a list of demands for President Joe Biden, stating that he must “stop approving fossil fuel projects and speed the end of the fossil fuel era,” as well as “declare a national climate emergency and launch a just, renewable energy revolution.”
The indigenous leaders reportedly occupying the Interior Department’s BIA released a statement on the protests, declaring that “We will no longer allow the U.S. government to separate us from our relationship to the sacred knowledge of Mother Earth and all who depend on her.”
The leaders demanded Biden abolish the BIA, as well as calling on the president to disallow “new leases for oil and gas or extractive industry on public lands.”
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