Murkowski speech interrupted by climate protesters; scuffle erupts and tosses them off stage

By Jen Krausz on
 April 22, 2024

Protesters from climate activist group Climate Defiance disrupted a speech by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on Thursday at the Bryce Harlow Foundation gala and awards dinner, and several of them tumbled off the stage during the scuffle that ensued. 

The chaos was captured on video and Climate Defiance posted it on their X page, seemingly elated to have shut down the speech.

Murkowski is regarded as a moderate Republican and not the type of lawmaker climate activists would normally target.

"Resisting fossil fuels"

She is from the state of Alaska, however, which means she necessarily supports fossil fuel production. The climate group defines itself as "resisting fossil fuel production" on its X profile, and it also posted a statement about its actions.

"We just shut down a gala honoring U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski is a murderer. She incinerates us to enrich her cronies. As Chevron's top lobbyist gave her an award, we stepped in and stopped the ceremony," Climate Defiance said in a social media post. "Respect us or expect us."

The Bryce Harlow Foundation gala intended to reward "contributions to business-government relations," and Murkowski was making remarks after accepting an award in that vein.

Climate Defiance seemed proud of the chaos it created, even though its members ended up dumped unceremoniously off the stage and were not really able to complete the disruption they no doubt intended.

Murkowski didn't comment about the disruption.

"Cruel and barbaric"

It called Murkowski an "ecocidal pyromaniac" for her support of the Willow Project, a massive oil drilling project in Alaska that the group has called "cruel and barbaric beyond description."

According to Fox Digital, the activist group was invited to a private meeting with President Biden's senior clean energy czar John Podesta in December despite its disruption of White House events including such senior officials as senior White House officials, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

After the meeting with Podesta, the group posted a letter it shared with him on social media.

"Thank you for taking the time to meet with us today," the group wrote. "We appreciate your willingness to heed our deeply-held concerns. Echoing the voices of millions of Americans, we write to you in the eleventh hour of the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced: planetary and societal collapse due to the continued burning of fossil fuels."

"We urge you to wield your utmost authority to implement a swift end to any federal support for new fossil fuel infrastructure. Both the urgency of this action and the severe consequences of further delay cannot be overstated," it continued. "Climate Defiance recognizes your commitment to climate action and commends you on your vital work developing and implementing the Inflation Reduction Act."


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