Boat full of climate change protesters pulled from New York Avenue, causeway reopened

New York Avenue NW at the 3rd Street tunnel reopened after DC police removed a pink boat containing climate change protesters.

Police in front of a pink boat blocking traffic on New York Avenue NW, as part of a climate change protest on Friday, November 19, 2021. (WTOP / Luke Lukert)

OMCP / Luke Lukert

Intersection of New York Ave.  and 5th St. NW.

The intersection of New York Ave. and 5th St. NW, Friday morning November 19, 2021 (WTOP / Luke Lukert)

OMCP / Luke Lukert

A pink boat blocks part of New York Avenue as part of a climate change protest.

A pink boat blocks part of New York Avenue near the 3rd Street tunnel, as part of a climate change protest. (WTOP / Luc Lukert)

OMCP / Luke Lukert

Image of a demonstration blocking traffic.

This is an image of a protest blocking DC traffic on Friday, November 19, 2021. (WTOP / Colleen Kelleher)

OMCP / Colleen Kelleher

All outgoing lanes of New York Avenue NW at the 3rd Street tunnel in DC reopened shortly after 11 a.m. after protesters inside a pink boat protesting ‘out of control climate change’ have been removed by the police.

The Extinction Rebellion group said it was behind the blockade on Friday morning. The group defines itself as a “decentralized, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act with justice in the face of the climate and ecological emergency.”

DC Police said earlier that a number of roads were closed due to what was known as “First Amendment activity.” These routes included First St. West to New York Ave., New Jersey Ave. North at K St., New York Ave. South to M St, New York Ave. between New Jersey Ave. and 6th St., plus 3rd Street Tunnel north and south.

The roads were reopened around 11 a.m. after the boat was withdrawn and the protesters were taken into custody.

Earlier this morning, Extinction Rebellion’s Reilly Polka told the OMCP that activists were using “a pink boat and their bodies to disrupt rush hour traffic” to bring attention to “a climate emergency and ecological”.

“The failure of Congress to enact meaningful climate legislation and the inaction of world leaders at the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow are crimes against humanity, condemning millions of people to misery and death.” , the group said in a statement.

“To the commuters who were inconvenienced by the disruption, we are sorry. We believe civil disruption is needed to force the government to realize the need for urgent climate action. “

Extinction Rebellion said today’s protest “follows in the footsteps of many historic movements for change that have used non-violent civil disobedience to instigate large-scale political change.”

The group said that while they were “sorry for the disruption” of people’s morning commutes, “it is a matter of life and death.”

Luke Lukert of OMCT contributed to this report.

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