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About a ton of debris left after climate protest near Anacortes

Protestors march near oil refineries in Anacortes, Wash., on Saturday, May 14, 2016. The protests are part of a series of global actions calling on people to “break free” from dependence on fossil fuels.
Protestors march near oil refineries in Anacortes, Wash., on Saturday, May 14, 2016. The protests are part of a series of global actions calling on people to “break free” from dependence on fossil fuels. Skagit Valley Herald

Authorities say about a ton of debris was left on the ground after weekend environmental protest in northwest Washington.

The anti-oil protesters told KING-TV they were forced to leave the area and didn’t have time to grab all their belongings before being arrested. Local authorities say the debris they took to the dump included camping equipment left by people who slept on railroad tracks near Anacortes.

Protesters staged multiple demonstrations against fossil fuels over the weekend. But some in the local community say the trash they left along the BNSF railroad tracks presents a mixed message.

On Sunday morning, May 16, police gave about 150 activists a warning to leave or face arrest. Some grabbed their belongings and left but others continued with their civil disobedience and more than 50 were arrested.

The Skagit County Public Works department hauled away 2,300 pounds of debris.

The activists say those items were valuable gear, camping equipment and clothing they never wanted to leave behind.

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