38 climate protesters arrested after disruption at Polis’ State of the State address

Posted at 8:42 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 22:42:57-05

DENVER – More than 30 protesters urging Colorado lawmakers to act on climate change were forcibly removed from the Colorado State Capitol Thursday ahead of Gov. Jared Polis’ State of the State address.

The protesters, who have not been identified, chanted and hung signs opposing oil and gas development in the state, minutes before Polis took the lectern.

As Polis took the lectern, one protester was even heard shouting “ban fracking now!” before he was forcibly removed by Colorado State Patrol troopers.

The Denver Police Department said those taken into custody were facing trespassing, disrupting a lawful assembly and obstruction of peace officer charges.

Denver7’s Meghan Lopez, who was inside the gallery when the protests erupted, snapped a photo of one of the signs that was hung by the climate protesters, which read, “NO WELLS AT BELLA ROMERO … NO MORE SACRIFICE ZONES”

Lopez said the protesters also gathered outside of the chamber with signs, but their chants were drowned out by the governor’s speech and members of the legislature.

Our partners at The Denver Post report that crowd was quickly forced out of the capitol building as well.

The protesters were affiliated with local chapter of the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion.