(ROCKVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police arrested seven people after a group of climate change protestors shut down a portion of Interstate 495 this morning in Montgomery County.
Shortly before 10:30 a.m., troopers from the Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack responded to inner loop of I-495 at U.S. Route 29 following multiple calls of protestors dressed in neon vests holding signs and blocking the road. According to a preliminary investigation, more than 10 pedestrians were sitting in the road and blocking all lanes of traffic. Several other protestors were walking around and holding signs.
Troopers from the Rockville and College Park barracks, with assistance from Montgomery County Police, asked the protestors multiple times to leave so they could be issued a criminal citation. After several warnings, those who did not comply were arrested without incident.
I-495 Beltway Inner Loop diverting to SB US-29 (x30), arrest being made / demonstration. Delays from I-270, exit earlier, 355, CT Ave / GA Ave + no incidents on MD-200 EB) #SilverSpring #MdTraffic #DCTraffic https://t.co/QUTtCFsfcM
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) October 10, 2022
Joseph Kakwitch, a member of the Menominee Indian Reservation, tells me why he participated in the protest this morning. @mymcmedia pic.twitter.com/jaBIMz1gYu
— Michael Hernández (@MHernandezTV_) October 10, 2022
In all, seven people were arrested at the scene. During the protest, traffic was diverted off the beltway until the road could be cleared. The interstate was reopened by 11:15 a.m. All seven people arrested were charged with obstructing or hindering the free passage of another in a public place or on a public conveyance and failing to obey law enforcement officer who attempts to prevent a disturbance to the public peace.
The suspects were identified as:
- Robert Achison, 74, of Vermont
- William Regan, 43, of Oregon
- Nora Swisher, 32, of Maryland
- Mary Osterbrink, 68, of North Carolina
- Andrew Hinz, 61, of Maryland
- Holley White, 58, of New York
- Jason Goward, 38, of Michigan
Those arrested were transported to the Montgomery County Detention Center for processing.