On Thursday youth climate activists from the Sunrise Movement confronted Senator Joe Manchin in a parking garage in Washington DC as he got into his new Italian sport luxury SUV. Chants of “We want to live!” and pleas for the senator to “Fight for us!” were ignored as he climbed aboard his Maserati Levante. As the activists swarmed around the car attempting to stop him from exiting the garage, the car lurched forward into the gathered crowd in what looks like at the very least an attempt to threaten harm. Pretty much the definition of assault.
Originally filmed as a TikTok by @hungry4climatejustice and later tweeted by @JordanUhl, the video above shows the aggressive driving in question.
Sunrise Movement spokesperson John Paul Mejia tweeted two videos of protesters attempting to convey to Manchin that they — real world every day people who will be alive much longer than Manchin will — matter more than his coal-backed climate denying financiers. The first depicts him walking from his houseboat to the parking garage, and the second shows protesters gathered at the exit of the parking garage. He appears to consider driving through the second gathered crowd, but thinks better of it and backs down the exit ramp of the parking facility.
The Biden Administration’s cornerstone climate and jobs bill has been mired under the combined thumb of Democrat Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Despite the fact that the bill has received resounding public support and 48 of 50 Democratic Senators have expressed their favor of the bill, it has been diminished and reduced in the name of economically conservative policies espoused by Manchin and Sinema.
Climate change is real. Manchin is a shill for coal. Climate action is being held hostage by two politicians. Running into anyone with a car, or even threatening to, should be considered assault with a deadly weapon.