HOUSTON (AP) — A portion of the Houston Ship Channel has closed after about 11 Greenpeace USA activists protesting the use of fossil fuels suspended themselves from a bridge ahead of a Democratic debate. By Thursday afternoon, the Houston County Sheriff's Department reported it has begun making arrests.
The plan for those activists hanging from the bridge is for Houston and Baytown Firefighters to repel down to make contact with protesters with a goal of safely lowering them from the Hartman Bridge to boats waiting in the channel. Boats were provided by the sheriff's department, Coast Guard, Houston Police Department and other partners.
The Coast Guard said Thursday that the closure of the channel came after the protesters on the Fred Hartman Bridge near Baytown were spotted. The debate is set for Thursday evening in nearby Houston.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says they and other public safety partners were monitoring the situation.
The Port of Houston, located along the ship channel, is home to the largest petrochemical complex in the U.S.
Look for more coverage in Friday's Baytown Sun.