Climate change protesters hoping to ‘shut down’ Congressional Baseball Game

Climate change protesters are hoping to “shut down” the annual Congressional Baseball Game on Wednesday night.

Youth-led activist group Climate Defiance plans to protest at the north gate of Nationals Park and “shut” the game down, Evan Drukker-Schardl, an organizer for the group, told The Hill.

“This game is an important kind of illustration of what’s wrong with our politics and our political elite that’s destroying our planet,” Drukker-Schardl said. “We’re not going to let this celebration of corporate political corruption go unchallenged.”

The organization, established in March 2023, also led a plan to blockade the White House Correspondents’ Dinner nearly two months ago.

The challenge also comes nearly two years after another group led a protest at the game in 2022, which took place amidst Senate negotiations over climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act.

That protest, organized by Now or Never, did not appear to affect the game, which instead suffered a 30-minute delay in the fourth inning due to rain. At least three individuals were, however, arrested for unlawful entry after blocking one of the park entrances.

Drukker-Schardl said he expects a “couple of hundred people” will show up to the protest.

“I don’t want to give away too much of the plan, but there is a more disruptive aspect of the plan,” he added.

The U.S. Capitol Police have said that they are aware of the protest and plan to leave a “strong footprint” at the baseball game.

“Our focus is on the safety of the Congressional community. Of course we will also assist stadium security and our law enforcement partners during any potential demonstrations,” U.S. Capitol Police spokesperson Brianna Burch wrote to The Hill.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will be assisting Capitol Police with road closures and the event’s external perimeter, Lee Lepe, a spokesperson with MPD, told The Hill.

Responding to a quote from Republican team coach Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) saying the protest would be on his “stupid radar,” Drukker-Schardl told The Hill, “Someone should ask Williams what he thinks the climate crisis is exactly.”

The climate protest is “on the stupid radar. I mean, why would an environmentalist not like a baseball game? Baseball is played on grass and dirt. What’s wrong with that,” Williams told CQ Roll Call earlier this week.

“Roger Williams can be flippant about it all he wants,” Drukker-Schardl said. “He’s creating this problem, and we’re gonna hold him accountable.”

Drukker-Schardl also criticized Democrats attending and playing in the game.

“A lot of Democrats, especially, will say that they want to do something about climate change or the climate crisis, or whatever language they might use, but don’t really put their money where their mouth is,” he said.

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