Eight people were arrested by police Monday for trespassing on the property of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, according to authorities.
The group, totaling 60 to 70 in size, gathered on the premises of Cruz’s home to protest climate change.
“The large majority of the group are extremely peaceful out there expressing the First Amendment rights (to) protest against climate change,” Assistant Police Chief Ban Tien said in a video. “Unfortunately, there was a small group who [was] actually committing trespassing into private property in front of the senator’s residence.”
The individuals broke the law when they repeatedly veered off the public sidewalk to position themselves on Cruz’s private land, despite the police providing “ample amount of opportunities” to correct their behavior, Tien mentioned.
“Roughly eight individuals still refused to leave and we finally gave one final warning,” Tien said. “We explained to them the fact that they were violating a trespassing law. They acknowledged they understood and they chose to be arrested.”
When the group arrived at Cruz’s residence, they had just completed 400 mile march from New Orleans to Houston to raise awareness for climate disasters such as hurricanes, pollutions, and the Texas freeze that hit early Spring.
Environmental reporter at the Texas Tribune Erin Douglas tweeted that those involved were members of the Sunrise Movement, a youth organization dedicated to ending climate change and passing the Green New Deal. The group loitered outside Cruz’s home urging that Biden stop negotiations with the GOP and pass Democratic Representative Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez’s “Climate Civilian Corps Plan,” which aims to minimize carbon emissions, jumpstart the transition to renewable energy, and make communities more resilient to and and help them recover from climate-induced crises.
Before arresting those who refused to comply, police attempted to reason with the protesters and convince them to achieve a “peaceful resolution,” Tien added.
“I just want to take a moment to remind everyone the Houston Police Department supports First Amendment rights and supports public assembly, but it has to be done in a safe manner,” he said. “And it has to be done within the confines and within the scope of the laws.”