Climate activists cause roadblock at Burning Man 2023

A group of climate activists blocked the main road into Burning Man 2023 this weekend.

Protestors from the Seven Circles blocked the highway in north-west Nevada leading to the festival Sunday (August 27), using 28-foot trailer which four people chained themselves to, according to The Guardian.

The protest resulted in standstill traffic for over an hour, where attendees clashed with protesters who held signs reading “Burners of the world, unite!”, “Mother Earth needs our help”, “General strike for climate change” and “Abolish capitalism”.


The Guardian reported that activists were told by members of the Paiute Tribe, which owns the surrounding area, that they were not allowed to stage their protest on tribal lands. Activists reportedly refused to move and showed that they were chained to the blockade.

36 minutes after protesters set up the blockade, officers from Pyramid Lake Paiute tribal police department arrived, with one telling a protester they risked being arrested if they did not disband within 30 seconds.

In that time, a second ranger drove through the blockade before an officer pulled out what appeared to be a gun and aimed it at the activists before putting one in handcuffs.

Screams of “we’re non-violent” could be heard from one of the protesters.

Four activists were handcuffed with pending municipal code violations. A court date is now scheduled for October.


“The purpose of the blockade is to draw attention to capitalism’s inability to address climate and ecological breakdown,” Seven Circles said in a press statement. “The blockade is also in protest against the popularization of Burning Man among affluent people who do not live the stated values of Burning Man, resulting in the commodification of the event”.

A list of demands included banning private jets, single use plastics, unnecessary propane burning, and unlimited generator use per capita.

Emily Collins, a Burner and co-founder of Rave Revolution said in a Seven Circles press email: “Burning Man itself was born as a protest to the growth-dependent capitalist default world. As Burners, we understand the power of community and have shown time and time again that we can create a new society, with new rules that include dignity for every living being. We must extend these principles into the default world after 37 years of practice. We can no longer remain apolitical in a time of crisis”.