Paroled Driver Gets Sent Back to Jail After Climate Change Protesters Block Highway

Last Updated on July 6, 2022

A group of protesters blocked traffic in the D.C. beltway on July 4 in order to raise awareness about climate change. The protesters were eventually arrested, but not before a paroled truck driver was arrested and returned to jail after becoming irritated.

About 20 people blocked all lanes and both shoulders of Interstate 495′s inner loop at the U.S. 29/Colesville Road exit Monday afternoon, The Washington Post reported. The protesters were members of a group called “Declare Emergency,” which has called upon President Biden to declare a national emergency in order to combat climate change.

“It was a collaborative effort that included one young lady who is eight months pregnant and worried about the world that her baby would be born into,” Declare Emergency member Paul Severance told The Washington Post.

As the traffic was blocked, a driver told the protesters that he was on parole and would be sent back to jail if he was late for work. “Yo, I’m about to get locked up because of my parole if I don’t make my goddamn job. And ya’ll are so inconsiderate,” the parolee could be heard saying.

The protesters refused to move or acknowledge his pleas, at which point the driver became increasingly upset.

The driver then started grabbing the protesters’ signs and attempted to physically move them. Eventually, police showed up and immediately arrested the driver, who was hauled off by a large group of cops. The protesters were soon arrested as well.

VIDEO THREAD: Yesterday, July 4, activists demanding Joe Biden declare a “Climate Emergency” blocked traffic on he beltway in Maryland, just outside DC.

One agitated driver got physical with them while saying that he’s on parole and could return to prison if late for his job. pic.twitter.com/iWSqTlnlSW

— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) July 5, 2022

Police took their time preparing to arrest the activists blocking the highway, but had warned drivers not to assault the protesters.

As the shirtless parolee who claimed he could go back to jail for being late continued confronting them, police arrested and carried him away. pic.twitter.com/95u5A5zf9U

— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) July 5, 2022

The footage was captured by TJ Jones, a reporter with News2Share. Police first told Jones to stand on the grassy area next to the highway, but they eventually made him leave the area altogether.

Severance told The Washington Post that the small group was part of a larger action being taken across the area that day. “We’ve mobilized throughout the country. We’ve had calls with Noam Chomsky and [comedian-activist] Adam McKay, and we’ve also gone door-to-door,” he said. “We’re doing what we can to get more people involved.”

The paroled driver has yet to be identified.

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