On Sunday, a group of climate activists were blocking the entrance to the Burning Man event when a tribal ranger mowed them down and drew his weapon.
A disturbing video was captured when an unidentified police officer drove his vehicle into the protesters. James J. Phoenix, chairman of the tribe, has said that the ranger’s behavior is ‘under investigation.’
The Seven Circles Alliance, a group of climate change campaigners, was disbanded by the tribal police. As a protest against the festival’s materialism, the group blocked the entrance to Black Rock City, preventing thousands of people from accessing the festival grounds. They had people tied to a structure in the center of the street with posters reading things like “Abolish Capitalism” and “Mother Earth needs our aid.”
The Seven Circles Alliance stated on Tuesday that a tribal ranger responded to a request for police and then appeared on the site, pointed a rifle at the protesters, and shouted, “I’m going to take you all out.”
The protestors countered by claiming that the disproportionate reaction is a microcosm of the institutional violence and police brutality experienced by many involved in the climate movement and other efforts to bring about structural change in the United States.
They also claimed that an innocent bystander had told the rangers that the protesters were armed.
Angry footage shows a guy telling protestors they are on public land and should “move the f***ing trash” before the rangers come.
A demonstrator shoved a guy in the face and shouted, “This is a democracy; we have a right to demonstrate.” Another demonstrator was spotted chaining herself to the trailer. Another lectured the irate motorist, declaring, “Every reform in society comes through civil disobedience, all of them.”
One demonstrator reassured the guy that he would “finally get” to the festival.
Pictures taken during the demonstration show placards reading “Ban Private Jets,” “Burners of the World Unite,” and “Abolish Capitalism,” among others.