On September 12, ahead of the Democratic debates, 22 Greenpeace activists shut down a major oil channel by dangling from a bridge in Baytown, Texas. According to Greenpeace, the Fred Hartman bridge extends over the largest fossil fuel thoroughfare in the United States. In their protest, the ships were blocked from moving, stopped the transportation of oil.
Sharing photos and posts on Twitter, Greenpeace shared that the thoroughfare was blocked for 14 hours. The act of dangling from the bridge prevented fossil fuels from moving out of their refineries. The goal of the protest was to end fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy, according to Greenpeace USA Executive Director. The protest made a statement to the oil companies, Democratic candidates and other climate activists.
Protesters are also speaking about the industry’s affect on the surrounding areas. Activist Brianna Gibson shared her story, “The landscape of the area surrounding this area is striking. And not in a good way. There are refineries for miles, with smokestacks consistently emitting plumes of smog into the air, interrupted occasionally only by gas flames that dot the sky like deadly Olympic torches and large storage vats full of any number of hazardous chemicals involved in the production and containment of fossil fuels and plastics products.”
Greenpeace reported that 15 protesters were taken into custody Thursday, 12 hours after the protest began at 6:30AM. The actress Shailene Woodley posted her support on Instagram. Her caption, “dude, @greenpeaceusa is everything. watch these epic people dangle from a bridge to make a point about fossil fuels. link to live footage in my bio….this is a crisis, and these activists are acting like it! they’re shutting down the largest fossil fuel thoroughfare in the country because they believe a world beyond fossil fuels is possible. #PeopleVsOil @GreenpeaceUSA” had over 45,000 likes from her 4.4 million followers, as of September 16.
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