Climate Groups to Shut Down Washington D.C.

Youth leaders around the world have called for a Global Climate Strike and week of action, September 20-27. Youth have led the way so far but now they are calling on everyone to take action with them. In Washington, D.C. Backbone Campaign, and a coalition of climate groups and allies, will answer that call in a major way: we are going to Shut Down D.C.

On Monday, September 23rd, we’ll bring traffic and business as usual to a standstill in the nation’s capital, to demand the government act immediately to end the climate emergency. We are calling on parents, workers, students and everyone worried about global heating to skip work or school and put off their other responsibilities to join us in the streets for a nonviolent, peaceful rebellion.

The multi-site blockade, the first of an international wave of citywide climate shutdowns that begins next month, will seize key intersections across the city to demand the abolition of fossil fuels and a rapid transition to 100 percent renewable energy. We invite people to join us in the streets to celebrate the rising tide of global rebellion against climate catastrophe with games, music, food, beach balls, kiddie pools, face painting and other festivities.

Health workers, migrant justice advocates, people of faith, trans people, college students, yogis and peace activists have all formed groups that will block a different intersection, bringing the nation’s capital to a standstill as Greta Thunberg and youth climate leaders speak at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City.

In the run-up to the shut-down, organizers will host meetings on September 18 at 6 PM at the Friends Meeting House in downtown Washington D.C.. New York Times bestselling author Naomi Klein and the president of the Hip Hop Caucus, Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr.,  will open the meeting with a clarion call to action.

“Young people around the world are cracking open the heart of the climate crisis, speaking of a deep longing for a future they thought they had but that is disappearing each day that adults fail to act on the reality that we are in an emergency,” Klein writes in her new book On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal. 

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip Hop Caucus President & CEO, said: “The devastating impacts of the climate crisis are here now, harming our communities and threatening life on this planet for our kids… We call for leaders in D.C. and around the world to take immediate bold action on the climate before it’s too late.” The minister will be available for interviews before and during the meeting. Coalition members are hosting a full calendar of events including art builds, public talks, panel discussions, and movie screenings across the city ahead of the shut down.

The Shut Down D.C coalition’s spokescouncil recently adopted the demands of the Youth Climate Strike, which include an immediate end to all fossil fuel extraction, the protection and restoration of biodiversity and the implementation of sustainable agriculture as part of a just transition to a cleaner, brighter future that will create millions of jobs. Humanity has never faced a crisis of this magnitude and only immediate and transformative change can ensure our survival.

The Shut Down DC action is part of a global week of strikes, with 1400+ actions internationally and 600+ actions in the United States. Just two weeks since its August 28 launch, Shut Down DC has flourished into a citywide revolt against the climate emergency. Coalition members now include 198 Methods, 350 DC, Backbone Campaign, Beyond Extreme Energy, Black Lives Matter DMV, Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund, Code Pink, Extinction Rebellion DC, Friends of the Earth Action, Friends Meeting in Washington Social Concerns Committee, Labor Network for Sustainability, Metro DMV Democratic Socialists of America, Movement for a People’s Party, and Rising Tide North America.

PRESS CONTACT: If you would like more information on covering the blockade or to arrange interviews with members of the groups involved, please contact Miles Amoore at 202 867 6080 or

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