Greenpeace protesters dangle from Fred Hartman Bridge ahead of Democratic debate
Twenty-three Greenpeace USA protesters have formed a blockade over the Fred Hartman Bridge in Baytown ahead of the third 2020 Democratic debate, forcing the closure of the Houston Ship Channel and snarling traffic in the area.
Eleven of those protesters intend to remain rappelling from the bridge for 24 hours, which they claim will prevent the transport of all oil and gas through the channel. Their actions are a call to leaders to imagine a world beyond fossil fuels and to embrace a transition to renewable energy, the group’s leaders say.
Coast Guard officials say a portion of the ship channel is closed due to the activity. The Houston Ship Channel is closed from Light 102A to Light 104.
Drivers can expect major slowdowns around the area. Due to an increase in vehicle traffic avoiding the Fred Hartman Bridge and utilizing the ferry, the second ferry is being placed into service, according to Harris County Precinct 2.
The La Porte Police Department and Harris County Precinct 8 Constables are monitoring the scene, and say they will not attempt to remove the protesters from the bridge.
HCSO says they’re in contact with the district attorney’s office to discuss possible charges the protesters may face.
@HCSOTexas is aware of a public demonstration currently underway at the Fred Hartman bridge in East Harris County. We are actively monitoring the situation with other public safety partners. #HouNews pic.twitter.com/l2m1SweK0N
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) September 12, 2019