Protestors created a miles-long traffic jam when they blockaded the only road to the Burning Man festival, leading to clashes with motorists and tribal rangers in the Nevada desert.
Videos posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, showed activists using a trailer to close off the road into Black Rock City. In one, a white pickup truck from the Pyramid Lake Ranger Station crashed through the protestors' line of signage, as officers threw the activists onto the ground for arrest.
“Thirty seconds, send your leader to my vehicle, let’s talk, get off the f— road,” one can be heard saying.
One official warned over the truck's PA system: “I’m gonna take all of you out, you better move.” He could then be seen exiting the truck with his gun drawn, yelling at protesters to “get down now," despite the demonstrators insisting they were “nonviolent.”
The protests were led by Seven Circles, a coalition of activist organizations, who said in a statement that they wanted to draw attention to “capitalism’s inability to address climate and ecological breakdown."
“The blockade is also in protest against the popularization of Burning Man among affluent people who do not live the stated values of Burning Man, resulting in the commodification of the event,” they wrote. “The group emphasizes the current existential crisis and importance of honesty when social collapse is at risk.”
Seven Circles also criticized Burning Man’s “apolitical stance," accusing the festival of not taking sufficient action towards “attaining carbon negativity and ecological regeneration for Black Rock City by 2030.”
"The group believes that Burning Man's apolitical stance to date is detrimental to its claimed values, especially as carbon emissions continue to rise despite government and corporate commitments to reduce CO2 emissions by more than half by 2030," they continued.
The group released a second statement in response to law enforcement's excessive force, saying: "The excessive response is a snapshot of the institutional violence and police brutality that is being shown to anyone who is actively working to bring about systemic change within the United States, including the climate movement."