Climate Activists Hold Protest At State House Against Fossil Fuel Projects

Photo: Getty Images

BOSTON (State House News Service) — Climate activists demanding that state lawmakers halt the construction of new fossil fuel projects protested at the State House Wednesday morning, facing the prospect of arrest while vowing not to leave until their demands were met.

Eleven members from Extinction Rebellion began chanting from the House Chamber's public gallery around 11 a.m., just after a Constitutional Convention joint session gaveled in and out of session. Activists threw papers onto the House floor, and tried to attach a "no new fossil fuel infrastructure" banner to a railing but a court officer wrestled it away from them.

Activists said their act of "civil disobedience" was designed to urge House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka -- neither of whom were present in the House chamber -- to file legislation to place a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure and stop projects that are currently under construction or proposed. One activist in the gallery unsuccessfully attempted to get the attention of Rep. Sean Garballey on the floor, yelling that the Arlington Democrat represents her.

Court officers and State Police were outside the gallery as the activists remained inside, with the protest continuing past noon.

Extinction Rebellion members staged a sit-in protest at Gov. Maura Healey's office in February, despite the Cambridge Democrat being away in Washington, D.C. Fourteen members were ultimately arrested after receiving multiple warnings.

Written By Alison Kuznitz/ SHNS

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