Rashida Tlaib, Democrat representative from Michigan and notable member of "the Squad," is rallying climate activists to step up their game in confronting the fossil fuel industry. As activist groups plot protests across various US cities, Tlaib suggests they adopt a more "aggressive" stance.
Joining a video call with over 100 members from militant environmental groups like Climate Defiance and Declare Emergency, Tlaib commended them on past instances of "civil disobedience" but expressed that a higher degree of "direct action" is necessary, the Daily Mail reported.
Tlaib asserted, "We have to be much more aggressive in regard to fossil fuel expansions." She continued, "If we don’t get the policies we need, if our legislative process is failing us, then direct action gets the goods."
Among the attendees of the call was activist Tim Martin, currently facing jail time for defacing a painting by Edgar Degas at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Daily Wire reported.
Martin is affiliated with Declare Emergency, a group lobbying for President Joe Biden to pronounce a "formal state of climate emergency." The group, established last year, has ties to a climate organization responsible for a disruptive week-long protest in London in 2019, causing significant financial implications for the city, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Climate Defiance, another group addressed in the call, proudly claims responsibility for disrupting the White House Correspondents Dinner, referring to the act as their "warmup." The group's mobilizer based in Seattle, Donald Zepeda, disclosed plans for upcoming protests on federal properties in New York and D.C. in August. Zepeda emphasized the necessity of high-profile, nonviolent civil disobedience, stating, "Doing massively disruptive, nonviolent civil disobedience, it’s a necessary and important part of getting us to where we need to be."
Tlaib is known for her progressive stance and provocative comments, sometimes labeled anti-Semitic. She previously proposed that individuals with accounts at JPMorgan Chase should "close their account" as a response to CEO Jamie Dimon's statement that his bank did not have "a policy against funding new oil and gas products."