National Archives Rotunda evacuated after climate activists dump pink powder on case holding US Constitution

The National Archives Rotunda was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after two climate activists dumped red powder on the encasement protecting the U.S. Constitution. 

The vandalism took place just before 2:30 p.m. local time. The National Archives said the two culprits were "immediately detained" by security personnel, though footage of the incident appeared to show security guards waiting around before any arrest was made. 


"The National Archives Rotunda is the sanctuary for our nation’s founding documents," Dr. Colleen Shogan, Archivist of the United States, said in a statement. "They are here for all Americans to view and understand the principles of our nation. We take such vandalism very seriously and we will insist that the perpetrators be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." 

Video shot by documentarian Ford Fischer shows two males smothered in red powder. The powder can be seen strewn across the protective display case holding the U.S. Constitution.

One of the individuals says they are "determined to foment a rebellion." 

The other, wearing cargo shorts, sandals, and a backward hat, says, "This country's founded on the conditions that all men are created equally, and endowed with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." 

He adds: "We're calling for all people to have these rights, not just wealthy white men." 


The suspects were arrested within minutes. (Ford Fischer)

Video shows security guards evacuating the Rotunda. The National Archives said the Rotunda and galleries would remain closed to the public for the remainder of Wednesday due to cleaning, and the Rotunda will remain closed for cleaning on Thursday, February 15. The rest of the Archives will open on Thursday.

The suspects were arrested by D.C. police, but the U.S. attorney will process the case, meaning they are facing federal charges, Fox News Digital is told. 

The two suspects appeared to be connected to the climate activist group "Declare Emergency," which demands that President Biden "declare a formal state of climate emergency and begin [to] make full use of his executive authority to save this country from collapse." 

The group retweeted footage of the Rotunda, writing: "We don't want the end of civilization but that's the path we're currently on." 

"Declare Emergency's nonviolent civil disobedience is love in action every day, not just on Valentine's Day." 

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