Climate protest briefly shuts down I-395, angering drivers

Climate protesters blocked all lanes of the eastbound I-395/Southwest Freeway near 7th Street SW/Exit 5 Friday morning by sitting on the highway for about a half-hour.

The small protest started around 8:40 a.m. Police arrived 10 minutes later, breaking up the protest around 9:08 a.m. with three men in handcuffs.

Drivers upset with the protest got out of their vehicles. News2Share livestreamed the demonstration.

Some motorists yelled expletives at the group.

One driver grabbed the protesters’ signs and threw them into traffic on the westbound lanes.

Several drivers repeatedly told the protesters that what they were doing was not productive.

“Open a business. Get a job,” said one driver who got out of a Ryder truck and talked with the protesters for more than 15 minutes, even sitting on the highway facing them and telling them that it was time for people to get to work.

“I understand what you are saying but you can’t do it like this. It’s not productive,” a third driver said.

A woman in an SUV screamed at the group, and managed to get past them on the shoulder of the highway.

One father with his young son in his arms told the group that he was trying to get his child to day care for his son’s birthday celebration.

The group involved has previously blocked highways and area roads, including D.C.’s M Street, to bring attention to its cause.



Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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