Climate Coalition Brings DC Traffic to Standstill in Historic Action of Civil Disobedience

CCAN Action Fund Statement: Why Executive Director Mike Tidwell is Peacefully Breaking the Law

Washington, DC — Today, the CCAN Action Fund joined a coalition of social justice advocates and hundreds of concerned DC residents in a strategy to shut down major DC streets to demand sweeping action on climate change. A coalition of nurses, racial justice advocates, immigrant advocates, environmental advocates, and more joined the effort to block dozens of key downtown intersections, bringing downtown DC to a standstill. It will be an historic action of civil disobedience — the first of its kind for climate change in DC. 

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund’s Executive Director Mike Tidwell issued the following statement: 

“I am a father, a Sunday School teacher, a youth baseball coach, and an Eagle Scout. And today I peacefully broke the law by blockading a downtown DC street in solidarity with students worldwide. Those students are now ‘on strike’ across the globe to combat climate change. 

“In the United States, through the radically pro-pollution policies of the Trump Administration, we are pushing our planet Earth further and further outside of its comfort zone. This means concerned Americans like me must push ourselves further and further outside of our own comfort zones in order to pressure our leaders to finally solve the climate crisis. I am proud to join over a dozen groups and hundreds of people today in DC working to shutdown at least 22 intersections. 

“Our goal is to create a momentary social crisis that forces us as a nation to finally focus on the climate crisis. As such, we are calling on our leaders to pass a federal Green New Deal and to figure out a plan for a just transition to 100% clean energy as soon as possible.”

Additional Information: 

The groups behind #ShutDownDC are responding to the youth call for a Global Climate Strike on September 20th, inspired by Greta Thunberg and the decades of action from Black and Brown and Indigenous communities. On the 20th, four million people around the world walked out of their workplaces and joined young climate strikers in the streets to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. 

Youth have led the way so far, but now they are calling on everyone to take action alongside them. The movement to #ShutDownDC is an answer to this call. While countries deliberate the fate of the world at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City, a coalition of climate groups and allies are bringing traffic and business as usual to a standstill in the nation’s capital. Parents, workers, students and everyone who is concerned about global heating are invited to skip work and school and put off their other responsibilities to take action on the climate crisis.

The multi-site blockade is shutting down key intersections all across the city and demanding sweeping action from the U.S. government to address the climate emergency. 

The blockades are being organized by a coalition of activists from different climate and social justice organizations including 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, Rising Tide North America, Sunrise Movement DC, and Werk for Peace.  The event is part of the Global Climate Strike, which has over 1400 events taking place globally from September 20-27.

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CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the oldest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 17 years, CCAN and CCAN Action Fund have been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit