Houston Ship Channel Shutdown / KHOU 11 NEWS + HOUSTON
Greenpeace activists are hanging by bungie cords from the Fred Hartman Bridge in Houston in an effort to bring awareness to climate change by blocking the Houston Ship Channel. The protest, which comes hours before a Democratic presidential debate, led to the closure of part of the channel, the Coast Guard said.
“We’re in Houston shutting down the largest oil export channel in the country to resist Trump & the oil industry for fueling this #ClimateCrisis. It’s time to end the age of oil. #PeopleVsOil” Greenpeace USA tweeted.
According to CBS affiliate KHOU-TV, 11 activists are suspended from below the bridge with flags. KHOU reports sheriff’s deputies confirmed that they would not attempt to force a rescue or remove the activists unless they become a safety or health hazard, as they don’t want to risk lives.
The activists are expected to face multiple charges once they conclude their protest, including obstructing the roadway and obstructing the waterway. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted that his office “is aware of a public demonstration currently underway at the Fred Hartman bridge in East Harris County.” The Harris County Sheriff’s Department also made mention of the fact that the protesters caused a multiple car pile up on the bridge just before they began their protest.
All of the protesters (22 in total) participated in this event, because they knew that the media spotlight would be on Houston for the democrat debate at Texas Southern University. Not only was there a Houston Ship Channel shutdown, but the bridge was also shut down.