In scene eerily similar to Jan. 6, climate extremists storm Dept. of Interior resulting in ‘multiple injuries’

Radical climate activists demanding the end of fossil fuels were arrested on Thursday after clashing with police while trying to “occupy” the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service spokesman Jim Goodwin saying several security personnel sustained “multiple injuries,” and one officer was taken to a hospital.

Indigenous climate activists were successful in “taking over a lobby” of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a federal agency within the Interior Department, “for several hours,” according to Inside Climate News, which claimed the protest was “largely peaceful.” Video shared in the article showed a large circle of protesters sitting on the floor inside the building with their hands zip-tied together.

There were multiple videos of the mob trying to force their way into the building. At one point, while trying to break through a police barrier, the activists chanted, “Go inside! Go inside!”

“In a scene reminiscent of Jan. 6, extreme environmentalist protesters push police to try to force their way inside the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. They’re demanding the end of fossil fuels. Officers use a taser to force them back,” conservative journalist Andy Ngo said in a tweet, sharing footage of the breach.

Despite the similarities to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, which was widely reported as an “insurrection,” the reporting on Thursday’s events took on a very different tone.

The Washington Post reported that “police and climate activists clashed Thursday during protests at the Interior Department.”

“Climate demonstrators were attempting to occupy the Interior Department, with dozens entering the Stewart Lee Udall Main Interior Building on C Street NW. Those who remained outside clashed with police as they tried to keep the one unlocked door open. At times, protesters attempted to push past the police line,” the newspaper reported.

The Post cited a statement from the group behind the action, which claimed police “acted aggressively,” as seen here:

People vs. Fossil Fuels said in a statement that 55 people were arrested during the protest, including Indigenous leaders, and said police “acted aggressively” by using Tasers on at least two people and batons to hit others. A spokesperson for the Federal Protective Service, which Schwartz said responded to the protest to “mitigate the situation,” did not immediately respond to a request for comment on police tactics and arrests.

Protesters said they wanted to speak with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to hold the position. Haaland was traveling outside Washington at the time, Schwartz said in a statement.


Thursday marked the fourth day of protests from the climate extremists as part of the People vs. Fossil Fuels action in D.C., with the paper noting that the activists are demanding that President Biden “stop approving fossil fuel projects and declare a national climate emergency.”

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., took to Twitter to show her support: “This week, Indigenous leaders & allies across the country have come together in D.C. for #PeopleVsFossilFuels protests & civil disobedience. I support them & their demands to President Biden: declare climate emergency & stop approving fossil fuel projects.”

The term “civil disobedience” is a far cry from an “insurrection,” as Tlaib has referred to Jan. 6.

Even the tone from the Biden was very different, as seen in a statement from Interior Department spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz.

“Interior Department leadership believes strongly in respecting and upholding the right to free speech and peaceful protest,” Schwartz said. “It is also our obligation to keep 0everyone safe. We will continue to do everything we can to de-escalate the situation while honoring first amendment rights.”

Here are a few other videos of the storming of the Interior Department seen on Twitter, with most being shared by Post reporter Ellie Silverman:

Tom Tillison


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