Police arrest young climate protesters for blocking street near Kamala Harris’ home

Protesters in the street hold banners including "Fund Climate Action Not Genocide."
Simon Aron, left, and Josiah Edwards lead a chant as Sunrise Movement protesters gather Sunday near Kamala Harris’ Brentwood home.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Demanding more action on the climate crisis, young activists blocked an intersection Monday morning near Vice President Kamala Harris’ Brentwood home, leading police to arrest six of them without incident.

Harris did not interact with the demonstrators, as her motorcade took an alternate route from her home to Los Angeles International Airport that morning. She flew to Las Vegas to speak about a recent federal gun safety law and attend an event advocating reproductive rights.

A crowd of about 40 youthful activists set up camp near Harris’ house Sunday, vowing to stay through the night if she did not meet their demands on climate change and Israel.


Activists with Sunrise Movement, which has organized climate protests across the country, said they had two demands for the vice president: convince President Biden to declare a climate emergency and end U.S. military aid to Israel.

High school student Wei Zhou, 17, came from their home in Washington, D.C., to join the demonstration, having participated in a similar protest outside President Biden’s home in Delaware in February. Declaring a climate emergency would allow Biden “to unlock a bunch of powers,” said Zhou, who joined the movement at 14.

That could include protecting people affected by climate disasters from eviction and providing them free healthcare, they said.

Zhou stood with a dozen additional protesters across the street from the blockade. “Harris, Harris, can’t you see, this is an emergency,” they chanted, alternating the latter phrase with “fossil fuels are killing me” and “this will be your legacy.”

The blockade consisted of six young protesters sitting in the street, holding signs and singing protest songs.

Vice President Kamala Harris returned to San Francisco to collect some campaign cash and make the case for democracy being at stake in the 2024 election.

March 12, 2024

Starting around 10:15, about a dozen Los Angeles Police Department officers started arresting the six seated protesters in the road one by one. They were booked on suspicion of failing to disperse, a misdemeanor, police said; no further information was released by LAPD.


The protesters recited statements as they were arrested. “Our communities in California breathe toxic air from fossil fuels and face fires that destroy our homes,” said Ariela Lara, 18, as fellow protesters chanted her name. The Sunrise Movement confirmed her name and age.

“My generation is spending our teenage years organizing for climate action because people like Kamala Harris have failed us,” said a demonstrator the Sunrise Movement identified as Adah Crandall, 18.

The remaining protesters continued to sing as a dozen more officers showed up to clear the intersection. By 10:30 a.m., though, the demonstrators had departed.

The protest outside Harris’ home came on the same day as pro-Palestinian activists in the Bay Area and cities across the world blocked highways and bridges as part of a global “Coordinated Economic Blockade to Free Palestine.”

In San Francisco, activists brandishing a sign that said “STOP THE WORLD FOR GAZA” blocked south and north lanes of the 101, shutting down the Golden Gate Bridge for several hours during the morning rush hour. At 10:30 am, the California Highway Patrol Marin said it was making arrests, but the bridge remained closed.

The pro-Palestinian protests were part of A15 Action, an international campaign to coordinate a “multi-city economic blockade to free Palestine” on April 15. “The global economy is complicit in genocide,” A15 Action stated on its website, which urged activists to participate in “blocking the arteries of capitalism and jamming the wheels of production.”


“In each city, we will identify and blockade major choke points in the economy, focusing on points of production and circulation with the aim of causing the most economic impact,” A15 Action added.

In Brentwood, the Sunrise Movement activists said they felt Harris was a champion for the climate before entering the White House, advocating for the Green New Deal when she was running for president and pushing climate resolutions as a senator.

“We’ve seen her go ahead of Biden on certain things,” said Zhou. “We’re asking her to be the kind of leader she was in 2019 now.”