Members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) carried out a "mic check" before Polis began speaking. This "mic check" served to remind everyone in the chamber that "in 2019, Governor Polis said he would 'make sure that all of our communities have clean air' and said he would boldly address climate change. However, he has failed to take on Colorado's biggest contribution to climate change: fossil fuel extraction." The "mic check" ended with a call to "phase out oil, gas and coal extraction for the sake of the planet, and for the sake of our health."
Two banners were displayed inside the chamber. They read "No wells at Bella Romero. No sacrifice zones!" and "Tell the truth! We will not be silenced".
Additionally, paper leaflets were thrown from the gallery containing three demands:
1. Shut down the fracking operations at Bella Romero Academy.
2. Develop a plan to end fracking and all fossil fuel extraction in Colorado by 2025.
3. Declare a Climate Emergency and facilitate a just transition to a renewable energy economy.
Several XR supporters allegedly engaging in these actions were immediately arrested by State troopers. Simultaneously, police arrested people who were seated near the disruption. One person was even dragged out of their seat and all the way out of the chamber.
As the police were escorting people out of the capitol building, numerous supporters of the Sunrise Movement, who had been in the hallway, were escorted outside by law enforcement where they were then placed under arrest. They have a seperate gofundme to cover their expenses here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/denver-youth-climate-activists039-bail-fund
In total, 38 people were arrested. 33 arrestees were taken to Denver Detention Center to be processed into jail. 5 minors were cited and released.
Extinction Rebellion is not going away. XR is growing, and responding to police suppression with ever creative tactics. As the climate emergency pushes the world into further chaos, and exposes the underlying and persistent injustice of an economy based on resource extraction, more and more people are waking up to their own power. Movements are being built to respond to ecological devastation with or without the support of Governor Jared Polis.
THIS INJUSTICE MUST BE HALTED IMMEDIATELY!
- Edward Behan
- Tom Hall
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