News & Politics

Protesters Want to Make It a Nightmare Traffic Day in DC

Activists from ShutDown DC and other groups are erecting roadblocks to create pressure for progressive priorities

Photo by Damare Baker.

The in-your-face trend of political protests, in recent years, has featured early-morning rallies outside the homes of people like Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and Postmaster General Louis Dejoy. Activists from ShutDown DC, CODEPINK, and other allied groups today sought to disrupt the daily routines of a larger and generally less powerful cohort: DC commuters.

Erecting a series of street blockades around Capitol Hill around 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, protesters sought to pressure progressive priorities that have been stalled.

According to a press statement, nearly 150 activists were expected to conduct multiple rallies and blockades with brass and go-go bands, as well as large props. The activists take action as Congress prepares to end the session for the holidays. The Senate recently passed a short-term government funding bill to prevent a government shutdown. But Congress has failed to pass legislation for voting rights, climate change, and immigrant rights.

While the brass and go-go bands were there, the crowds around Capitol Hill weren’t close to reaching 100 people. There were a dozen or so protesters around each spot at 4th St. and Independence Ave SW, Pennsylvania Ave and Constitution Ave. NW, and Stanton Park. Regardless of the crowd, one of the protesters, Sophia Geiger, says that they will continue their plan to “disrupt business-as-usual sufficiently.”

This means that the traffic buildup has eased, and commuters will have either eventually gotten to their workplaces or turned around and went home.

It seems they might be successful in their efforts, the Metropolitan Police Department and the Capitol Police had to redirect traffic around the area. There was even a 10-15 minute traffic buildup on Independence Ave this morning while protesters from Extinction Rebellion DC stood in the streets with signs. After three warnings by the Capitol Police, one protester was arrested near the United States Botanic Garden.

While the crowds aren’t massive, be aware of high traffic and street closures around the following areas:

  • Independence Avenue between First Street, SE and Washingtonian Avenue, SW
  • Massachusetts Avenue between Third Street, NE and Fourth Street, NE
  • 4th and C Street, SW
  • 4th and Jefferson Street, SW
  • 6th and Independence Avenue
  • 3rd and Maryland Avenue
  • Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue NW
  • Potomac Avenue Metro Station
  • 4th Street and Independence Avenue

Later today at noon, the protesters plan to march to the Capitol and gather for a rally.

Damare Baker
Assistant Editor

Before becoming an assistant editor, Damare Baker started out as an editorial fellow 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.