Eight climate change activists were arrested Monday outside Sen. Ted Cruz‘s home in Houston, police said.
Houston Police said 60 to 70 members of the youth climate activist group Sunrise Movement showed up at the Republican senator’s property, and that a small handful of the demonstrators stood on his lawn and refused police orders to move.
“A large majority of the group were extremely peaceful, out there expressing their First Amendment rights, protesting against climate change,” Assistant Police Chief Ben Tien told reporters. “Unfortunately, there was a small group who were actually trespassing into private property in front of the senator’s residence.”
“We gave them ample amount of opportunities to leave the location, but they refused,” he said.
Chief Tien said that after an hour of negotiations with the demonstrators, eight were arrested on trespassing charges.
“The Houston Police Department supports First Amendment rights and supports public assembly, but it has to be done in a safe manner and it has to be done within the confines and within the scope of the laws,” he said.
A GoFundMe page for the arrested activists surpassed $3,200 as of Tuesday morning. According to the page description, the group is demanding President Biden stop negotiating with Republicans and “stop impeding life-saving climate legislation in the American Jobs Plan and support a fully funded Civilian Climate Corps (CCC).”
“Marchers presented a choice to the President: continue negotiating away our future with Republican climate deniers like Cruz or stand with the young people who elected you,” the group wrote. “Stop negotiating with moderates and the GOP on climate jobs legislation and fight for what the people need.”
“Politicians like Cruz and Biden can’t sell my future away to their highest donor while Gulf South residents are losing their lives to storms like Claudette and the Texas Freeze,” arrested activist Kidus Girma was quoted as saying on the GoFundMe page. “Our homes burn, our neighborhoods flood, our parents freeze, and they sentence us to death while talking about fake bipartisanship.”
Mr. Cruz did not comment publicly on the protest.