Protesters from Seven Circles, which represents the climate activist groups Extinction Rebellion, Rave Revolution, and Scientist Rebellion, held signs that read “Abolish Capitalism,” “General Strike for Climate,” and “Burners of the World, Unite. The roadblock caused traffic to back up for miles.
The group Seven Circles says they organized the protest because the event is now attended by people “who do not live the stated values of Burning Man,” which has resulted in the “commodification” of Burning Man. The group also claims that Burning Man’s goal to be carbon-negative by 2030 is “insufficient” to tackle the climate crisis.
The group demanded that the Burning Man leadership ban private jets as well as single-use plastics and “advocate for system change on both political and economic levels.
In 1986, Burning Man originated as an underground gathering in San Francisco. Now, those attending the festival bring their own infrastructure, food, and water, as well as entertainment, transforming the area into what is known as Black Rock City. Within the grounds of the event, money can’t be exchanged, and brands can’t advertise products. However, as more celebrities and influencers attend, the event has changed, and the activists are worried about Burning Man’s carbon footprint.
Video of the protest on social media shows that the drivers stuck in traffic eventually began clashing with the protesters, who then chained themselves to the trailer. Not all stuck in the traffic jam were attending the concert, with a video showing one man saying he was just trying to get to work.
A second video of the protest on social media shows a Nevada ranger in his truck ramming through the demonstration to arrest the protesters. A second ranger is seen in the video stating the protesters were “trespassing on tribal land. Four protesters were arrested.
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