What To Do When You’re Arrested During A Climate Change Protest

With powerfully influential figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez standing up to show support for the only planet we have, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that climate change activism is heating up. When the number of protests increase, so do the number of arrests. That was the case outside of the New York Times headquarters in Midtown, NY about two weeks ago, when 70 people were arrested.

The protesters were part of an activism group called Extinction Rebellion and had cut their way from Bryant Park to the NYT building to show their anger for the mainstream media’s lacking climate coverage. Members of the same group have recently ground traffic in London to a halt in order to make their outrage known.

The protesters in NY were arrested for causing the same inconvenience to city drivers. They had lain down along the center of Eighth Avenue in order to block traffic, after which they were taken into custody and penalized with desk appearance tickets. 

Even retired lawyer Glen Schleyer broke the law to get the word out because he thinks that this is one of the only acts a person can take to effect real change: “I was a lawyer for my career, my dad was a cop. I’m a law-abiding citizen, I know what I did was illegal. But history has shown that the civil disobedience is effective at waking people up and driving change.”

Many Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidency have attached themselves to the climate change fight. Jay Inslee in particular has built his campaign on a platform of warring against fossil fuels, promising to implement new laws and draft legislation to end reliance on old technologies in favor or new ones while also fighting against corruption in Washington.

The fight is more necessary now than ever before, as the Trump Administration continues to bolster the dying coal and oil industries by fabricating stories about the importance of “clean coal” in American’s future — however untrue that may be.

The Broward Climate Protest will take place on August 9, 2019 at Broward County Government Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. If you plan to take part in the protest, it might be worth your time to sit down with a criminal lawyer to make sure you know your rights in the event that the police show up to break up the protest — or if you find yourself arrested simply for being there. Keep up the good fight!