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This Queer Dance Party Is Actually a Climate Change Protest

This Queer Dance Party Is Actually a Climate Change Protest

As climate protesters shut down the streets of D.C., one group was werking for a more sustainable future.

A group of creative protestors organized roving dance parties throughout Washington, D.C. to draw attention to corporate polluters contributing to climate change.

Calling themselves WERK for Peace, the group of about 150 people joined hundreds of other climate change protesters in shutting down D.C. streets on Monday. According the LGBTQ+ newspaper Washington Blade, the dance protest began at 7 a.m. near Union Station and moved about the city from there, blocking motorists who contribute to pollution by driving instead of taking public transit, walking, or biking.

Police arrested 26 people throughout the city during the protests, which opened the typically gridlocked streets to pedestrian use. None of the dancers faced arrest because their blockades were brief.

"We know that climate justice affects marginalized communities around the world," WERK for Peace Co-Founder Firas Nasr told the Blade. "And at the front of those marginalized communities are queer and trans people who are disproportionately affected by the climate catastrophes just as people of color and disabled folks and indigenous folks, undocumented folks are also disproportionately affected."

WERK for Peace was founded in the aftermath of the 2016 shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando to advocate for progressive reforms and draw attention to injustice. The group was previously reponsible for throwing a queer dance party outside Mike Pence's house.

Among the targets of Monday's protest were Walls Fargo Bank and the American Petroleum Institute.

A 2018 report shows that Wells Fargo has a particularly bad record when it comes to damaging the environment. The bank helped fund dangerous pipelines despite protests from a range of indigenous and environmental groups. The company has also come under fire for plans to capitalize on climate change, using natural disasters to hoard more wealth.

The company has also pledged to invest billions in clean energy projects, however.

American Petroleum Institute, on the other hand, has long advocated for dirty energy. The group represents pollution-heavy industries and spends millions of dollars to influence members of Congress and promote projects that line members' pockets at the expense of a stable climate.

In the past week, millions of people have taken the streets in more than 180 countries to demand their governments take immediate action to address imminent threats our global future. Humanity could face societal collapse as soon as 2050 due to climate change, according to a paper released this year by The National Center for Climate Restoration.

RELATED | Queers for the Climate Want to 'Save the Straights'

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Matt Baume