News & Politics

Two Dozen Climate Activists Were Arrested Outside the White House Chief of Staff’s House Last Night

Despite the turn of events, ShutDown DC considered the night a success.

Climate activists protesting in DC, August 23, 2021. Photograph by Laura Beth Pelner.

Yesterday was a busy day for local climate activists. By the end, two dozen protesters from ShutDown DC, Extinction Rebellion DC, and other allied groups would end up arrested.

The activists started with demonstrations at the Army Corps of Engineers headquarters, then marched to the White House, all to protest what they consider the Biden administration’s inaction on the nearly finished Line 3 pipeline. The oil pipeline will run from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin, and, ShutDown DC claims, will have negative environmental effects on Indigenous-owned land.

The bustling crowd later marched to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain’s home in Chevy Chase. They settled down into a circle, where they chanted, sang, and burned sage. The group also played the “Klain Game,” loosely based on Klain’s past participation in his high school’s Brain Game team. In quiz-show style, the activists answered questions about Line 3 and its potential impact on climate change, Indigenous rights, and resource degradation.

Instead of being met with Klain’s open arms and a mutual agreement to tackle the issue, the Montgomery County Police arrived and demanded that they leave. Eventually, 24 protestors were arrested.

Still, ShutDown DC recently tweeted that the night was “incredible” and that they were sure that the protests against Line 3 were on the Biden administration’s radar after last night.



Damare Baker
Research Editor

Before becoming Research Editor, Damare Baker was an Editorial Fellow and Assistant Editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.